Daily Devotional: Sunday 14th Juneby William Moody
15 For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, 16 no longer as a bondservant1 but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
17 So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. 18 If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. 20 Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ.
21 Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you.
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, 24 and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.
25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
Paul in writing this short letter, is governed by a great love for both Philemon and Onesimus. If Philemon receives Onesimus lovingly as Paul desires it will give Paul great joy not only as it will benefit Onesimus, but also because of the delight it would give Paul to have a child in the faith like Philemon displaying such Christ-like love (v20).
Another very important aspect of this letter is the expectancy with which Paul writes. He is confident Philemon will act in a loving manner (v21). Also despite being at this time a prisoner in chains, Paul is confident of being able to soon visit Philemon. So much so that he asks him to even now prepare the guest room (v22).
The secret of Paul’s great confidence in these matters is his faith in God. Paul has expectancy because he has already taken these matters to the Lord in prayer (see v4 & 22). Yes there are problems to overcome, but they are nothing compared to the greatness of the God who loves him and to whom he prays. Do you have such a confident faith? Do you pray just out of routine, or do you pray with expectancy?
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