Paul urges Philemon to have mercy on his runaway slave, Onesimus, who has become a Christian.
If anyone is a servant of Christ, he cannot be a tyrant to men. Jesus taught forgiveness, compassion, and gentlenessÑnot harshness, anger, and retribution. Paul urges Philemon to forgive, receive, and restore his runaway slave, Onesimus, as a brother in Christ, now that he has become a Christian. The fact that this letter has been preserved indicates PhilemonÕs favorable response. Although we do not have slaves today, our employees, co-workers, associates, and neighbors deserve respect from us. Service to Christ requires a forgiving spirit.
Thank and praise the Lord that what He requires of us is something we are able to give Him:
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised
In the city of our God,
In His holy mountain. . . .
We have thought, O God, on Your lovingkindness,
In the midst of Your temple.
According to Your name, O God,
So is Your praise to the ends of the earth;
Your right hand is full of righteousness (Psalm 48:1, 9-10).
Pause for praise and thanksgiving.
Pray this confession to the Lord as you seek to keep your life free from sin:
Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon (Isaiah 55:7).
Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind, and pray this affirmation to the Lord:
The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1).
The Lord encourages us to come to Him with our concerns and desires. As you make your requests known to the Lord, include:
spiritual victory over temptation,
opportunities to serve the Lord,
whatever else is on your heart.
Finally, offer this prayer to the Lord:
The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore (Psalm 121:7-8).
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