Wednesday 26 May, 2021

Philemon 1-7

1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker— 2 also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home: 3 Grace and peace to you[a] from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, 5 because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. 6 I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. 7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.

Paul is about to make a request of Philemon but first he takes the time to affirm him. Paul lets Philemon know how encouraged he is to hear about Philemon’s faith in Jesus and how he refreshes the hearts of other believers.

But ever the discipler, Paul takes the opportunity to encourage Philemon to go a little deeper in his faith. Paul directs Philemon to be active in sharing his faith and testimony with others, i.e. to those beyond the walls of the church that meets in his home. Paul’s pattern seems to be “go tell others” first and then you will gain a “full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ” (v6).

This pattern seems opposite to how I naturally want to approach evangelism and discipleship. I would rather find out everything I need to know, study it, practice it, and study some more. Then I will tell others about Jesus. But here Paul is clearly telling us to just get out there and do it. Get active. Just go. That as I share my experience of Jesus, I become more certain of who He is and what He has done for me. Simply, I grow as I do it.

Lord, help me to take the brave steps of faith in telling others about You, even before I have all the answers, and as I do, I will experience You deepening my knowledge and experience of You. 

Written by Gab Martin

[comments section is closed]