Bible Study & Devotional 302
Guiding Scripture: Philemon 1:10 ‘I appeal to you to show kindness to my child, Onesimus. I became his father in the faith while here in prison.’
🔴 The Role of An Advocate
written by: Torrie Slaughter
Paul’s letter to Philemon is brief, yet it makes a powerful statement with a ripple effect that appeals to forgiveness.
While Paul was in prison, Onesimus, a slave of Philemon, finds him and becomes a Christ-follower. However, this wasn’t an ordinary visit; Onesimus ran away from Philemon.
Paul writes to ask Philemon to forgive Onesimus AND to receive him as a family member, a brother within the body of Christ. Wow! Talk about complete forgiveness and advocating for the Gospel!
My takeaway in that exchange is a reminder: the ground is level at the foot of the cross. My posture toward God needs to reflect my posture towards my neighbors and even my enemies.
As you read today’s passages, I pray you will examine your relationships. Have you forgiven those who wronged you? Are you repentant and seeking forgiveness for your transgressions?
Here are some thoughts to meditate and take to the Lord:
- Paul greets Philemon and his house church. Paul created an atmosphere of oneness in truth by mentioning that Timothy also sends greetings. (Philemon 1:1-3)
- Paul then praises Philemon for his faith and love toward Jesus. He says in verse 6 that he prays Philemon’s faith may become more effective for the knowledge of every good thing.’ (Philemon 1:4-6)
- God knows the heart of every person, and Onesimus, while hiding in plain sight, finds Paul, who is in prison. Even though Onesimus is a slave of Philemon, a church leader, Onesimus had not received Christ into his heart. (Philemon 1:11)
Paul’s request for their transformed relationship is a crucial point for us to remember. Onesimus was useless as an unbeliever. In the city of Colossae, the Gospel required faithful servants. Our various states of complacency and rebellion are useless to the Gospel mission. Until the light of Jesus shines in the dark places of our hearts, we are lost.
Recall how Paul advocated for Onesimus and the selflessness by which Paul sent him back to Philemon. That is faith in action. Believing the fulfillment of God’s will based on the current circumstances is an excellent example of a confident servant.
John Wesley wrote,” Storm the throne of grace and persevere therein, and mercy will come down.”
Prayer: Lord, please help us to be bold advocates for the Gospel. Father, with your guidance through the Holy Spirit, I will be careful to live a blameless life. I want to have integrity in my home and be an advocate for those seeking You. Amen.
🔴 The Bible In A Year Daily Reading Plan
This devotional was written by Torrie Slaughter the founder of Our Given Purpose® for A Daily Purpose Bible Study & Devotional. Want to hear more? Tune in on Mondays and listen to Our Given Purpose the Podcast and on Fridays to Talking on Purpose with Torrie the Podcast & Internet Show. Torrie also hosts a YouTube channel of the same name.