11/03

November 3

Philemon

Do you have faults? Have you ever failed someone?

While under house arrest in Rome, Paul met a man named Onesimus and led him to Christ. Onesimus had run away to Rome after stealing from his employer. Paul knew his employer, Philemon, a prominent and wealthy Christian man who hosted a church home group. This letter is Paul writing Philemon in an attempt to reconcile the two men, asking Philemon to forgive and reinstate Onesimus, not only as an employee, but also as a newly converted brother. Paul even offers to take on the debt of Onesimus.

There is a difference between forgiveness and reconciliation. We can forgive someone in our hearts without restoring the relationship back to what it was. For example, Philemon could forgive Onesimus and yet refuse to take him back as an employee. In order for there to be full reconciliation, there has to be repentance before trust can be reestablished. Repentance can only happen when a person admits to doing something wrong and in humility, expresses their need to be forgiven. In some cases, restitution needs to be made, and in this case, Paul offers to make the financial restitution on behalf of Onesimus. If you have a relationship that God wants to restore, I encourage you to take action and be reconciled with others in the way you have been reconciled with God.

Jeremiah 36-37

Jeremiah was persecuted for sharing the truth with his own people. Perhaps you have been rejected by a friend or family member for speaking truth or abandoned for following the vision God gave you. Sometimes we are rejected because the people reject the truth. Sometimes people reject the vision because they have pride in their heart. Perhaps it is because they are misplaced and need to find where they belong. Do not be discouraged if you are not received or followed. Like Jeremiah, put God first. Love and obey Him. We are not responsible whether someone decides to receive our ministry or not – that is between them and God. Like Jeremiah, no matter how hard it may seem, stay true to your calling and never let go of the truth you have in God.

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