Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Caring and Accepting the Elderly
St. Andrews MTC, NY
8 For this reason, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do your duty, 9 yet I would rather appeal to you on the basis of love—
Paul wrote this letter when he was under house arrest in Rome. Onesimus was a slave who belonged to Philemon, a wealthy man and a member of the church in Colosse. Onesimus had run away from Philemon and had made his way to Rome where he met Paul, who led him to Christ (verse 10). Paul wrote this letter to ask him to be reconciled to his runaway slave.
Since Paul was an elder and an apostle, he could have used his authority with Philemon, commanding him to deal kindly with his runaway slave. But Paul based his request not on his own authority, but on Philemon’s commitment. He wanted Philemon’s heartfelt obedience.
Paul loved Onesimus. He showed it by personally guaranteeing payment for any stolen goods or wrongs for which Onesimus might be responsible. Are there young believers who may need us to demonstrate Paul-like behavior toward them? Be grateful for the opportunity to invest in the lives of others.As an older apostle, Paul urged Philemon to be reconciled to his slave, receiving him as a brother and fellow member of God’s family. Reconciliation means reestablishing relationship. Christ has reconciled us to God and to others. Many barriers come between people but Christ can break down these barriers.
PRAYERDear Lord , help us to remember that everything is under Your control. You are a great and wonderful God who gives us strength to rise above each difficult circumstance. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:Jesus changed Onesimus’s relationship to Philemon from slave to brother. Christ can transform our most hopeless relationships into deep and loving friendships.