This week Ben takes us through the book of Philemon, a letter from Paul to a fellow Christian, pleading for his converted slave, Onesimus.
Bible Reading: Philemon 1-7
Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker— also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. 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. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.
Thought for Reflection: It is all too easy to reduce our faith to a set of dogma, beliefs that we hold. This is why I love that so many of the ‘books’ of the New Testament are in fact letters. This one, like so many of them, starts off with a list of names, those of Paul and his companions, and the individuals and churches to whom he writes. These were all real people, just like us, living out their faith in communities like ours at Wormley Free Church. Faith is not about rules or dogma, but relationships. This is reflected in the rest of Paul’s introductory paragraph. Faith is the trust we have in our relationship with one particular person, Jesus the Christ, made evident in the way we relate to others, love.
Prayer: Thank you for the many people you will bring into my life today. Help me to love them with the refreshing love of Christ!