Philemon 1: Will You Forgive And Receive Others?
Verse of the Day: (V17) “If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself.”
1. Receive (V1-17)
V1 “Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer,”
The epistle of Paul to Philemon was his personal letter to Philemon (his spiritual son and fellow worker) pleading on behalf of Onesimus, Philemon’s runaway slave. Onesimus escaped from Philemon, but he ended up in the same prison as Paul. In the prison, Paul shared the gospel of Christ to Onesimus, and Onesimus then repented his sins (especially his escape from Philemon), and believed and received Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour. When Paul heard that Onesimus’ master was Philemon, he knew that it was God’s will for him to write to Philemon. Indeed, there is no accident in God’s vocabulary, as everything, including bad things, that happens to us is according to God’s perfect will.
V10 “I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:”
2. Repay (V18-19)
V18 “If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine own account;”
Paul truly loved Onesimus that he was willing to repay and compensate any loss of man-hours because of Onesimus’ escape from Philemon. Paul then reminded Philemon that he was the one who led him to the Lord and had taught him in God’s Word. Philemon’s heart must have been soften and touched by Paul’s love for him as well as Onesimus, as both were once strangers to Paul, yet he loved them because of God’s unconditional love.
V19 “I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.”
3. Refresh (V20-25)
V20 “Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.”
Paul pleaded with Philemon that his forgiveness of Onesimus would certainly refresh and encourage him to know that Philemon truly practiced what he had learned of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness. In fact, Paul was confident that Philemon would not only forgive and receive Onesimus, but he would redeem the slavery of Onesimus, and treat him as his fellow brother, when he would return to him after his release from prison.
V21 “Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.”
Prayer of the Day:
Dearest God, please help me to forgive and receive others as You have forgiven me.