Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord? Philemon 16.
Among those who gave their hearts to God through the labors of Paul in Rome was Onesimus, a pagan slave who had wronged his master, Philemon, a Christian believer in Colosse, and had escaped to Rome. In the kindness of his heart, Paul sought to relieve the poverty and distress of the wretched fugitive and then endeavored to shed the light of truth into his darkened mind. Onesimus listened to the words of life, confessed his sins, and was converted to the faith of Christ…. Paul … counseled him to return without delay to Philemon, beg his forgiveness, and plan for the future. The apostle promised to hold himself responsible for the sum of which Philemon had been robbed…. It was a severe test for this servant thus to deliver himself up to the master he had wronged; but he had been truly converted, and he did not turn aside from this duty….
Paul’s letter to Philemon shows the influence of the gospel upon the relation between master and servant. Slaveholding was an established institution throughout the Roman Empire, and both masters and slaves were found in most of the churches for which Paul labored….
It was not the apostle’s work to overturn arbitrarily or suddenly the established order of society. To attempt this would be to prevent the success of the gospel. But he taught principles which struck at the very foundation of slavery and which, if carried into effect, would surely undermine the whole system…. When converted, the slave became a member of the body of Christ, and as such was to be loved and treated as a brother, a fellow heir with his master to the blessings of God and the privileges of the gospel. On the other hand, servants were to perform their duties, “not with eyeservice, as men pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart” (Ephesians 6:6).
Christianity makes a strong bond of union between master and slave, king and subject…. They have been washed in the same blood, quickened by the same Spirit; and they are made one in Christ Jesus.
Conflict and Courage p. 350
—–I need prayer to find my lost documents …
Birth certificate, ss card, etc… They came up missing about a week ago, and I only noticed when i needed them to apply for a job! Pray they are only set aside where I will find them soon! Cathy
—–Please pray for my aunt Debbie and our family, she has just beat one brain tumour only to find out Friday she has another, probably inoperable this time. Heidi
—–Please pray with me…I have a friend that is handicap, and is now losing use of his legs. He is also an alcoholic. He is a danger to society and himself. Even if he is not drinking and driving he has not been able to use his legs properly to push the gas or break pedal. Indy
When I was a little girl, I spent many hours listening to my grandfather tell the stories of his life. Certain stories were favorites and I would ask to hear them nearly every evening. Patiently, he would re-tell them. Sometimes, however, my grandfather would tire of them and tell me stories of his heroes such as John Paul Jones and Teddy Roosevelt or of some movie he had seen called King Solomon’s Mines. I didn’t enjoy those stories nearly as much. They were not stories of his experience, so I lost interest very quickly.
Even today, I enjoy hearing my friends and co-workers tell of their life’s experiences. Whenever someone feels in a nostalgic mood and shares something of their memories, I am always ready to listen with pleasure reliving their experience with them.
So it is with us. The one experience above all others, that we should love to dwell upon. We have the privilege of sharing with others the story of our spiritual experiences. Indeed, our Dear Saviour longs for our walk with Him to be an ever flowing fountain touching all whom we meet. He declares, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38 He commissions us as He did Jeremiah of old, “thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.” Jer 1:7,8
Our Loving Redeemer proclaimed, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12 So it is that “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself.” 1 John 5:10 The Great Light of the World bids us also to become lights to those about us. “No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.” ” Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matt 5:14-16
We “are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that [we] should show forth the praises of him who hath called [us] out of darkness into his marvellous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 We ” are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. . . .Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. ” 1 Thes 5:5-24
Let us speak often of our experience in the Lord showing ” forth the praises of him who hath called [us] out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9) Let us “sing unto the LORD, bless his name; show forth his salvation from day to day.” Ps 96:2 Let us “sanctify the Lord God in [our] hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh [us] a reason of the hope that is in [us] with meekness and fear.” 1 Peter 3:15