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Philemon Devotional – Day 5

By February 17, 2023Daily Devotional

ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness

God’s love is so great that He gave His only Son to bring us
into fellowship with Him. His love encompasses the world, and embraces each of us personally and intimately. 

1 John 4:7-10 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Praise the God of Love
Praise Jesus because He demonstrated His love by going to the cross. Praise Jesus that He is an example of love. Praise God because He loved us even though we do not deserve love.

CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100

SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.

    • Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
    • Pray for those around the world who are enslaved. Ask God to bring them spiritual, physical, and emotional freedom. Pray that these people would experience God’s affection.

Philemon – Christian Standard Bible
1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother:

To Philemon our dear friend and coworker, 2 to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church that meets in your home.

3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

4 I always thank my God when I mention you in my prayers, 5 because I hear of your love for all the saints and the faith that you have in the Lord Jesus. 6 I pray that your participation in the faith may become effective through knowing every good thing that is in us for the glory of Christ. 7 For I have great joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.

8 For this reason, although I have great boldness in Christ to command you to do what is right, 9 I appeal to you, instead, on the basis of love. I, Paul, as an elderly man and now also as a prisoner of Christ Jesus, 10 appeal to you for my son, Onesimus. I became his father while I was in chains. 11 Once he was useless to you, but now he is useful both to you and to me. 12 I am sending him back to you—I am sending my very own heart. 13 I wanted to keep him with me, so that in my imprisonment for the gospel he might serve me in your place. 14 But I didn’t want to do anything without your consent, so that your good deed might not be out of obligation, but of your own free will. 15 For perhaps this is why he was separated from you for a brief time, so that you might get him back permanently, 16 no longer as a slave, but more than a slave—as a dearly loved brother. He is especially so to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

17 So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would me. 18 And if he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—not to mention to you that you owe me even your very self. 20 Yes, brother, may I benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. 21 Since I am confident of your obedience, I am writing to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 Meanwhile, also prepare a guest room for me, since I hope that through your prayers I will be restored to you.

23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings, and so do 24 Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my coworkers.

25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Read vv.1-3 and vv. 23-25. Philemon is one of Paul’s most unique letters because it is written primarily to an individual—Paul to Philemon. The primary issue at hand is directed at Philemon. However, notice that there are a number of other names listed. The primary issue concerns Philemon but the letter is also addressed to Apphia and Archippus and the wider church that meets in Philemon’s house. This indicates that though this letter is very personal (dealing with an issue with Philemon), it is not private. The personal issue has ripple effects for the community at large. What are ways Christians wrongly conflate these two ideas – making personal faith equivalent to faith being a private matter? Another Heart Attitude at River is to Demonstrate an Open and Honest Life. Read Ephesians 4:25 and Proverbs 12:19. Life in community requires living openly and honestly before others. If you’re having a great day, tell people. If it’s been a rough day, be honest about it. What do you think the implications would be if Philemon or others in the church did not live openly and honestly but instead harbored resentment and unforgiveness against Onesimus? What are the implications in your life of not living openly and honestly before those in your small group or close friends? Don’t beat yourself up. Let this be an encouragement and challenge to you to enjoy life in community.

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