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Yet for love’s sake I rather appeal to you—being such a one as Paul, the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ  Philemon 1.9

It is not wrong to make a supplication to one brother, so that another may be helped, for we are members of the Body of Christ (Romans 12.5). This support makes Jesus, the Head of the Church, be glorified. It would be bad if we were in interest groups, focused only on divine blessings, without caring about those who live in delicate situations. Nothing is more untrue than having a greedy and selfish spirit. By acting this way, do we love the Lord?

The subject Paul would talk about was quite serious, for a slave from Philemon had run away to Rome, where he found the apostle and salvation in Christ. In those days, the master of slaves had power over them as if they were a work tool. And when one of them ran away, he could be pursued and forced to return and be beaten to death. That was the custom. But Onesimus was converted to Christ!

Sometimes we become mean with brothers and sisters in the faith, giving them little or no chance to reconcile. When a Christian makes a mistake and does not repent, forgiveness is withheld until he recognizes the damage done to his employer or a friend. Then, if he comes to his senses and confesses his sin, he will be forgiven (Luke 17.3). Many claim to be part of the Body of Jesus, but if they do not confess their faults, they will go to their destruction (Matthew 7.21-23).

When the sin is intentional, forgiveness becomes more difficult. However, if the transgressor recognizes his fault and pleads for divine mercy, he will be absolved, unless the offended sees no repentance in this act. He who does not fear God tries to deceive in every way, swearing that he has done nothing wrong or does not remember what happened. Acting in this way, he will not be forgiven. Are there such hard-hearted people? Unfortunately, there are!

As we will see later in the same text, the apostle asks Philemon to listen to him out of love for God. Remembering that Paul won him to the Lord, so he had the authority even to give him an order. However, now, as a prisoner of Christ, the apostle saw the situation differently; after all, he was not sure that he would escape imminent death.

Paul was already feeling the weight of the years and said that no loss that Philemon had had with the escape of the slave would be a reason not to forgive him. This way of dealing with Philemon is similar to the attitude of Moses, when he pleaded with God for the Israelites who had sinned because of the bad news of the spies, and because of this, they all decided to return to Egypt (Numbers 14.13-19). Now, they were so disappointed with what they heard that they preferred to return to Pharaoh’s whip. With wisdom, we will overcome!

When interceding on behalf of someone, never give up. Our God is sentimental; He has a heart and weighs the supplication we make to Him according to His Word. Abraham almost succeeded in getting Sodom, Gomorrah and some tiny towns in that region spared from fire and brimstone (Genesis 18.20-33). Go to the end in your faith (Daniel 12.13).   

In Christ, with love,

R. R. Soares





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Lord of good feelings! Paul's supplications to Philemon recall those we have made to You during despair and trial. We won't take no from You, because Your Word promises us that You will hear us. Look at those who have strayed from Your precepts!

Paul was asking for Onesimus, a man who could not bear slavery and escaped from the shackles toward the freedom that everyone deserves to enjoy. In the same way, we were slaves to sin, and when we heard about You, we exchanged the reign of wickedness for freedom!

Times change, and sometimes for the worse, but You are the same today as You were yesterday and will be forever. Don't abandon us or leave us in the uncertainty of life without Christ. Help us to walk under Your protection and salvation. We are prisoners of our Savior!



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and Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.
(Genesis 11:23)


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