September 26, 2022 - Philemon

It’s always amazing how positively and thankfully Paul begins his letters, even when writing from prison: “Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved worker and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (1-3). He goes on, here, to assure Philemon of his prayers and his rejoicing in what he has heard about Philemon.

Of course, Paul is writing and asking that Philemon would graciously receive his slave, Onesimus, back, now as a brother in Christ, not a slave. Paul’s words from prison, whether giving thanks for what he sees God doing or requesting grace from Philemon, are just oozing with grace and reflecting what he has in Christ. That's the way it should be, always, with us. Oh my, we have every reason to sing:

O what joy my soul hath known,

Filled with the love of Jesus;

Trusting still Thy grace alone,

Filled with the love of Jesus

Come, ye souls in bondage sore,

Come and here His grace implore;

Ye shall taste, and thirst no more,

Filled with the love of Jesus. -- William Cushing (19th century)

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