To the One Who Loves
In today's message the Lord is telling us to meditate on the outcome of Paul's letter to Philemon.
This letter was written in 60AD (AD means Anno Domini or Year of the Lord it actually does not refer to the accurate birth of Jesus for Jesus was born somewhere in 5 or 4BC). Paul wrote this letter in his old age from a Roman prison.
This letter is written to Philemon concerning his onetime slave Onesimus. It seems from the letter that Onesimus had robed from Philemon, which at that time for a slave was a punishment of death.
Paul was instrument in bringing both Philemon and Onesimus to the Lord thus plays the role of reconciling both of them.
The name Philemon although has been translated as one who kisses actually means one who loves for it comes from the root word Phileo which means love. Even the scriptures in John 15, in which Jesus calls us His love or associate has been wrongly translated as friend. The same with Isaiah 41:8 & James 2:23 where the Lord called Abraham His love has also been translated wrongly as friend.
The name Onesimus means profitable or useful.
Paul here plays the role of sending Onesimus who was legally due to death to Philemon so as to be accepted as one's own. Paul openly tells Philemon that he is in need of Onesimus. Paul here starts the letter not as a person who has rightful authority but who himself is a slave under bonds.
When we look at this scenario we see Paul did what Christ did for us. Legally we too were due to die a permanent death for what we have done but Christ played the role of mediator, reconciling us to the Father - the One Who Loves. We too are not referred to as any object or pet but like Onesimus are called profitable or useful by the Lord.
The Lord, the One Who Loves is telling each one of us who have the seed of faith in us, that we are useful for Him and He has made us for He needs us. He has plans for us in our lives and has shown us the extent He can go to bring us back to Him. He says He has not finished with His efforts to reconcile us to Himself, therefore has given us His Spirit to help us in our efforts to come to Him.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, You love us for You are love. You did not make us just for no reason but to be of need for Yourself. You are Omnipotent and do not lack let You call us useful. Lord Jesus we thank You for making yourself as one of us so that we could be accepted by the Father. Help us Lord like Paul did between Onesimus and Philemon; we too may do between your lost sheep and You...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
1 Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer,
8 Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient,
9 Yet for love's sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.
10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:
11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:
15 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;
16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?
17 If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself.
18 If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;
Isaiah 41:8 - But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend / love ['ahab - which means love].
James 2:23 - And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend / Love of God.
[The Greek word Philo- means friend or associate and comes from the word Phileo which means love, since James was referring to Isaiah 41:8, its source meaning also needs to be maintained]
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends / love / associates [Philo].
14 Ye are my friends / love / associates [Philo], if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends / love / associates [Philo]; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
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