Read: Philemon 17-18
THEME: Living up to a name can be hard work. All it takes is for someone, maybe even ourselves, to set a target that makes us feel incompetent. Our role-model for turning this around is a runaway servant named Onesimus.
We have been on quite a journey with Onesimus but, before we leave the story, let us focus for a moment on Paul. We have spoken of the importance of Paul’s preaching, praying and writing, and yet the letter that Paul sent to Philemon revealed one more aspect of Paul’s commitment to Onesimus: he was prepared to cover any debt that Onesimus might have incurred. Paul’s determination not to be hindered by his house arrest seemed limitless.
Of course, Paul’s willingness to cover any debt was not the only evidence of his readiness to pay the price. Paul’s whole life was a testimony to his eagerness to pay any price to express his gratitude to God for his own transformation. Helping others to experience theirs was a privilege.
If we want to follow Paul’s example, here are three useful lessons that we can hold on to: do not look at your limitations, trust in the transforming power of the Gospel, be as patient and encouraging with others as others have been with you.
Will that mean that we shall see many respond in the way that Onesimus did? In short we shall have to leave that with the Lord but we can all do the work of an evangelist as we share with people and care for people in a spirit of love and gratitude as we journey on together.
Let us always be ready to answer everyone who asks a reason for the hope that is in us.