Good morning Lord Jesus, as I awake physically I seek Your Spirit to awaken me spiritualy so I can live out this day in Your Spirit.
“If he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge it to me. I Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it. And I won’t mention that you awe me your very soul! Yes, my brother, please do me this favor for the Lord’s sake. Give me this encouragement in Christ. 1 I am confident as I write this letter that you will do what I ask and even more! (Philemon 1:19-21)
Paul began his letter telling his friend “I am praying you to put into action the generosity that comes for your faith…” and in these verses of his letter he’s challenging Philemon to not just know about submission, but to put it into practice.
In other words: show me, don’t tell me.
At the end of the letter, we get Paul doing the same. A runaway slave would have cost Philemon a lot, but Paul finishes all Christ-like when he says, “If he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge it to me… I will repay it.”
This entire letter is Paul using his authority in love to challenge Philemon to rethink what it means to be a servant of Christ. And he does this by redefining Philemon’s relationship to his slave Onesimus. The goal of the gospel is to redefine our relationship to God, to others, and even to ourselves. If the first half of the gospel is John 3:16, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life”.
… and the second half of the gospel is 1 John 3:16, “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.”
… then the whole gospel can be summed up in: show me, don’t tell me.
In his introduction to Philemon, Eugene Peterson says, “Every movement we make in response to God has a ripple effect, touching family, neighbors, friends, community. Belief in God alters our language. Love of God affects daily relationships… it all gets worked into local history, eventually into world history.”
Lord, as I read these words of Paul which are inspired by you I here you also say to me, “I am confident as I write this letter that you will do what I ask and even more!” In other words you are saying to me as well, show me, don’t tell me. Show me in my relationship with you Jesus where I need to redefine and restore some of my personal relationships as you asked Philemon to do with Onesimus. Reveal to me where and how in my day to day life I can not just tell people Jesus loves them, but show it. Challenge me as well to rethink what it means to be a servant of Christ.
My family, I pray this morning the heavenly Father stirs up the gift of His Holy Spirit in your lives ad challenges you to rethink as well what is means to be a servant of Christ. I pray today you will not only tell people Jesus loves them, you will show it too. In Jesus’ name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you my friends!
Please share your reflections and prayers in the comment box below with us from todays reading.
Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower
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