Take a break from your daily journey.
Pull off your hiking shoes, ease off your heavy backpack.
Rest alongside the path,
And listen to God’s words for you.
Philemon, I thank my God every time I mention you in my prayers because I’ve heard of your love and faithfulness, which you have both for the Lord Jesus and for all God’s people. I pray that your partnership in the faith might become effective by an understanding of all that is good among us in Christ. I have great joy and encouragement because of your love, since the hearts of God’s people are refreshed by your actions, my brother.
Philemon! It’s one of the shortest books in the Bible. The entire book is just one chapter long, only 509 words in this translation. You can sit down and read it in just a couple minutes – maybe you should try that after you finish this devotion.
If you do, you’ll learn that in the letter, Paul is persuading his friend Philemon to welcome into his home someone Paul and Philemon both know: Onesimus. The problem is, Philemon and Onesimus were estranged from one another.
Though the letter doesn’t tell whether Philemon did welcome Onesimus back, I’m pretty sure he did. Why? Because of the way Paul praises Philemon in this passage. Paul says he has heard about Philemon’s love and faithfulness. Philemon’s actions and love have affected the hearts of others!
Philemon is on the right path: the path of love and faithfulness – the path of life. I am convinced that Philemon welcomed Onesimus back, and that they continued in their partnership in the faith. Like Philemon, may we all follow that path of life!
Jane Claspy Nesmith
God of reconciliation and love:
May I, like Philemon, show faithfulness and love so that others may be refreshed.
May my faithfulness also lead me to be reconciled with those who ask forgiveness.
May I always follow in your path of life.
Refreshed by God’s loving messages for you,
Prepare yourself for your journey.
Step out once more,
Ready to follow the path God has shown you.