Todays readings.. Joshua 15, Isa. 20&21, Philemon


Paul is in prison, he is now “an old  man” [Philemon v.9] and writes a passionate letter to Philemon “a beloved fellow worker” [v.2].  He writes about  a believer called Onesimus,  “whose father I became, in my imprisonment.” [v.10]  How wonderful to have Paul as a “father”. Remember what he told the Corinthians, “For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” [1 Cor. 4 v.15]

Onesimus had become very useful to Paul, and that is what ‘Onesimus’ means; he had belonged to Philemon, but had run away.  But he had then been converted and became a follower of Christ and Paul tells Philemon, “this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever” [v.15] – now and in the kingdom.

When Paul stated  “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good”, adding, “for those who are called according to his purpose.” [Romans 8 v.28] he primarily must mean – for the good of God’s purpose in the outworking of their lives.  In v. 14 he had stated, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” Paul was totally conscious he was “led by the Spirit.”

  Paul saw himself as a “prisoner also for Jesus Christ.” [v.9]  – and when you and I see our lives from that perspective, then it is possible for us to really begin “to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you (we!) may be filled with all the fullness of God.” [Eph. 3 v.19]  This had clearly become the experience of Paul.

Paul says, that in sending Onesimus back to Philemon, “I am … sending my very heart” [v.12] Let us ponder what Paul means by this.

When Paul told the Galatians that, “God sent forth his Son” and then developed this point to say, “God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” [ch. 4 v.4,6] we can be overwhelmed if we deeply meditate on the picture this reveals.  In a sense we should understand God as saying, “I am sending my very heart  This is food for our deepest meditation.  Is our “very heart” involved in all that we do in serving our Lord, and our God?  That should be our aim.