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Devotional: Anglican Communion 27 July 2019 – Uselessness to Usefulness

The Daily Fountain Daily Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 27 July 2019 – Uselessness to Usefulness

TOPIC: Uselessness to Usefulness

READ: Philemon 8-25 King James Version (KJV)

8 Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient,

9 Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.

10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:

11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:

12 Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels:

13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel:

14 But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.

15 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;

16 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?

17 If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself.

18 If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;

19 I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.

20 Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.

21 Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.

22 But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.

23 There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus;

24 Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.

25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen. (Written from Rome to Philemon, by Onesimus a servant.)

THE MESSAGE:

Today we see the grace of God at work in Onesimus, an unprofitable or useless run-away servant of Philemon. From prison, Paul preached to Onesimus and led him to Christ. Onesimus therefore became a fellow child of God with his master Philemon and Paul. When your servant, sibling or relation is disobedient and seemingly useless, don’t write him off. In verses 17-19, Paul pleaded with Philemon to forgive this his run-away slave who had become a Christian and accept him (Onesimus) as a fellow brother in Christ. Two things are brought to light here: as Christians we should forgive others as Christ forgives us (Matthew 6:12) and true forgiveness requires that we treat the people we forgive with kindness.

Paul had the apostolic authority to order Philemon to accept Onesimus, but he did not use that authority. He rather chose to plead with Philemon out of love, so that he would willingly accept Onesimus, not by compulsion, but willingly and out of love. Inasmuch as we may have the authority to command or lord it over others, let us rarely use that authority, let us rather use love to instruct our subordinates and brethren.

Prayer: My great God and King, please give me the grace to forgive and accept back those who offend me. Teach me not to lord it over my brethren, in Jesus Name, Amen.

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