Read Philemon – Advocate, amends and acceptance are the themes in this epistle from Paul.
Paul advocates as a picture of how Jesus advocates for us, when he asks Philemon to “put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ.” :6 Paul is asking that Onesimus, a runaway slave of Philemon, be received as a brother in Christ. Paul assures him that Onesimus will be much more valuable now that he is a believer.
Onesimus will be tasked with the responsibility to return to his past, make amends and work alongside Philemon. Beloved, part of being a healthy member of God’s family requires that we settle accounts from the past. One cannot be truly free while hanging on to guilt, unforgiveness or anything that hangs over one’s heart. Once you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are a new creation. Beforehand, you weren’t too useful, now you have purpose.
Philemon is tasked with acceptance that his slave, who deserves punishment, will now work alongside him as a fellow believer. That is what putting your faith in action looks like. We must change our minds about the things “owed” to us, because it all belongs to the Lord anyway. When Jesus blesses us, that blessing should pour out upon those around us.
Beloved, this is such a sweet epistle to rest in. Which character do you relate to the most? Have you been holding on to something, and now sense that the Lord wants you to let it go – entrusting Him with the outcome? Are you in position to advocate for a believer who needs someone on her side? What can you do today to share your joy and freedom in Christ with another?
Next we will visit the adventures and adversity that the Israelites encountered alongside Moses in the book of Deuteronomy! It’s been on my heart to dive into this exciting fifth book of the Old Testament for some time now. You will find it in the beginning of your bible between Numbers and Joshua.