Faith in action produces progress!
Scripture reading for July 14th: 2nd Chronicles 15-16, 1st Kings 16, Philemon
Philemon 3-7 “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.”
Paul’s short letter to Philemon, a believer in Jesus, whose run-away slave had been saved in prison with Paul, encouraged him to receive Onesimus back as a brother in the Lord. As Paul began his letter, he shared how encouraged he was by the reports that Philemon was showing love and sharing his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ with all the saints. Paul prayed that as Philemon shared his faith, he would grow in the full knowledge and understanding of every good thing that he possessed in his relationship with Jesus Christ. Paul also shared how he was now appealing to him to willingly receive this former run-away slave back as a brother, willingly and without compulsion. God’s transformation would be a blessing!
Philemon 14-16 “But I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord. For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a bondservant 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.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for this example of transformation of a run-away slave to a brother in Christ! That reflects my life and many others. What grace You have given me! And to Philemon, You gave a gentle appeal to forgive and restore this slave as a brother! Help me today to cooperate with You in restoring those You are transforming, not blinded by their past wrongs! Praise the Lord for grace!
2nd Chronicles 15:1-2 “The Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded, and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all of Judah and Benjamin: ‘The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, he will forsake you.”