Devo. Day 5

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

By Pastor Jason Daily Reading Philemon 1

Attached is a link to view a summary of Philemon and why this book was written.

Onesimus was Philemon's slave. According to the law, he could have been executed for stealing and running away. But Onesimus had run into Paul, and ultimately came to faith in Christ (v. 10). Though now a changed man, Onesimus was still a slave. And so, Paul sent him back to Philemon with a letter urging him to receive Onesimus “no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother” (Philem. 1:16). Philemon had a choice to make: He could treat Onesimus as his slave or forgive him and welcome him as a brother in Christ. Additionally, Paulsent him back to Philemon with the assurance that the he would repay anything the runaway slave owed. “If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self” (Philemon 18-19). Paul carried Onesimus' burden, thus changing his relationship with Onesimus in such a way as to prompt Paul to write: “I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart” (Philemon 1:12). The gospel changes people and relationships!Booker T. Washington wrote about an experience he had that illustrates the same principle:"The most trying ordeal that I was forced to endure as a slave boy…was the wearing of a flax shirt…That part of the flax from which our clothing was made was…the cheapest and roughest part. I can scarcely imagine any torture…that is equal to that caused by putting on a new flax shirt for the first time. But I had no choice… My brother, John, who is several years older than I am, performed one of the most generous acts that I ever heard of one slave relative doing for another. On several occasions when I was being forced to wear a new flax shirt, he generously agreed to…wear it for several days, till it was 'broken in.'"Are you willing to wear someone's new flax shirt today? It’s easy to allow the walls of socio-economic status, class, or cultural differences to separate us. Jesus carried the burden of our sin and endured the pain of the cross on our behalf, and for ALL people. We ought to live the gospel as Paul did for Onesimus, who as a result became a follower of Christ, a brother in Christ,Paul’s “very heart” (Philemon 1:10), and no longer a slave to Philemon! When we bear one another's burdens, we follow Jesus’ example and fulfill His will for our lives (Gal. 6:2; 1 John 3:16). The gospel changes people and relationships! The gospel of Christ removes those barriers, changing our lives and our relationships forever! Bearing people's heavy burdens,Shouldering their pain and grief,Shows the love of Christ to others,Bringing them His sure relief. – Unknown

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