Take a moment to open this time in prayer. Ask God to bless you as you read and reflect on the text.
Please read Philemon 8 - 22
Some people question why the Book of Philemon is in the Bible. The book is a letter that Paul sends to Philemon asking him to welcome back a man by the name of Onesimus. Onesimus was a slave to Philemon who escaped, possibly after stealing money from Philemon. Somehow Onesimus met Paul and became a follower of Jesus. Because of the background of the book many people question why Paul would send Onesimus back to Philemon. Is Paul supporting slavery? Does the Bible support slavery? Why does Philemon, supposedly a leader in a church, own slaves? However, this book is not about slavery but about reconciliation. Reconciliation is a Christian principle and whenever possible we should seek reconciliation in the church, in our family and in other areas of our private lives. We should seek reconciliation based not on worldly principles but on Biblical principles. The reconciliation between Philemon and Onesimus seems to have been successful or else the letter probably would not have made it into the Bible.
Please use the following questions for more reflection.
Why do you think that Paul sends Onesimus back to Philemon? How would you feel if you were Onesimus? How would you feel is you were Philemon?
What feelings and thoughts do we have to overcome in order to reconcile with someone? How does being a follower of Jesus help us in overcoming those thoughts and feelings?
Do you need to seek reconciliation with someone in your life? What stops you from doing so? What would Paul write to you about reconciliation?
Closing - Use the prayer below to end the devotion or close in prayer in your own words.
Gracious Heavenly Father, thank you for the message of reconciliation contained in the book of Philemon. Thank you for the reconciliation that we receive from you because of what Jesus has done. Help me to reconcile with those in my life. Amen.