It always amazes me how many lessons can be learned from such a small book. The story behind Philemon is simple, while in prison Paul meets a run-away slave who becomes a Christian and is encouraged to return to his previous owner not as a slave but a brother in Christ. The letter to Philemon is a request from Paul urging Philemon to accept Onesimus back into the family, not as a slave but as a brother and fellow heir in Christ.
What I find interesting in this reading of the text is Paul’s request to Philemon to do what he is asking, not because he ‘has to’ but because he ‘wants to’. So, it is with God, when we commit to Christianity we are asked to change our behaviour in many ways, but begrudging obedience is not good enough, we must want to be obedient. God’s not interested in holding a gun to a person’s head and saying, ‘Obey Me’. You ‘must’ want to obey Him from your heart.
I not saying that things we are asked to do by God are easy because many times they are not. I am also not say you must always want to be obedient. But what I am saying is, whole hearted obedience is a condition of the heart and as such sometimes requires God grace.
So, what can you think of today God has asked you to do, but know you need God’s grace to be willingly obedient.
I ask you today God, to help me by your grace to be cheerful and willingly obedient to do the things you have placed in front of me this day.
Written by David Newton