The pastor centered his message on Philemon 10-11. He noted that although the verses do not contain the word “forgiveness” the message is one that tells us to be forgiving. (The text is below the song video.) Paul became friends with Onesimus, a runaway slave, while in prison. Onesimus had run from Philemon and ran into Paul. The letter reminds Philemon that we all have some past. We all have good in us. Often, to see the good you may have to practice three steps:
- 1) Release the other from his past – we all have a past filled with wrong actions before we were changed by Christ into a new creation.
- 2) Recognize the other’s progress. I am a work in process and so is my brother or sister. Mark 8:23-25 when it took a second touch to heal a blind man. We all need a touch and usually multiple touches on our mind, our mouth, our heart and our body. Onesimus was a slave, now he is a son to Paul and therefore a brother of Philemon.
- 3) Respect my purpose. God can use whoever he wishes. Not everyone has a title but God can still use them. They just need to be willing to be used. That fact that the product has a dent doesn’t mean it’s finished. There is still some good in you.
This is one of the songs we shared in this morning.Verses for today:
Philemon 10-11New International Version (NIV)
10 that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. 11 Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
Lord I thank you that we are all one in the body of Christ. Help us to see beyond outward differences and embrace our oneness. Help us to love one another as you have commanded.