I love Paul. I’m mean who doesn’t love The Saint Paul?
I love him because of books like Romans, Ephesians, 1st.& 2nd. Corinthians and Colossians. So when pastor said, we would be systematically studying the book of Philemon, I was like, “OK, how do you even say this dude’s name?”
Boy am I glad that God has chosen this letter for this new year. This is one of those one chapter books (pamphlets) in the Bible that gets skimmed over. However, there is so much more underneath the surface of this letter from Paul to Philemon and I can’t wait to squeeze all of the “juice” out of it. I have to say, it never hit me until now when Paul said things like, “Paul, a prisoner…” Or, “I am in chains for Christ” this guy was literally in prisons, chained up for the Gospel! Yet he still has the wherewithal to say things like, “Rejoice!” and, “What has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.” (Philippians 1:12 NIV) This guy has the nerve! No, this guy has the faith! Like pastor put it, I would have written Philemon and said, “Philemon, help a sista out! I’m in jail! Please post bail… then we can talk about how to advance the Gospel! Grace and peace to you. At least put money on my books! Your sister in literal chains, Brittany.”
Are we willing to be in chains, metaphorically and physically?
What does it truly mean to be servants no matter what? We are so blessed in this country to have the freedom to worship God and we take it for granted, when there are people who are literally in prisons and dying for the gospel. We are afraid to stand up because of rejection and hurt feelings. I get that! We are human; made from dust and a rib bone. But Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24 NIV)
We are called to take up our cross, and everything else that comes along with it, to die with Him. We are to be, “living sacrifices” according to Romans 12:1! My goodness! Do we know what that really entails? Do we really understand the type of death we are supposed to die? Nothing about Jesus’s situation was comfortable. He was brutally killed. He laid His life down. Nothing was comfortable about Paul’s situation. He always seemed to be in someone’s prison, but then has the faith to say, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13 NIV, emphasis mine.)
So what does it look like to be completely dependent and committed to Christ? Can we serve Him when times get tough? Will we breakdown when we are rejected or persecuted? Can we step out of our comfort level to share in His sufferings, so that we may be resurrected with Him?
26. Daughter. Sister. Aunt. Friend. Student. Servant. It is my passion to live the "GRATE" life as opposed to the "great" life. I'm grateful. I work as a CO to earn my paycheck, but I am a minister for a living. Realized that my heart longed for a relationship with my Creator. I couldn't outrun Him, so now I intentionally seek Him. And in my spare time I like to jump out of perfectly working air planes. ✈️