• To Philemon and Company Devotional

    Philemon 1-3

    Take some time today to read through the entire epistle to Philemon. Consider how the different aspects of the letter combine to present Paul’s argument. Pick a verse or two to meditate upon; repeat it to yourself a few times and think on what it might mean. Pray that our time together in this epistle would help us to learn many helpful ways to grow in Christ and to develop a new appreciation for this important part of God’s Word. View Resource

  • A Personal Yet Public Faith Devotional

    Philemon 4-5

    John Calvin writes, “Even the most perfect, so long as they live in this world, never have so good ground for congratulation as not to need prayers, that God may grant to them, not only to persevere till the end, but likewise to make progress from day to day.” Even the upstanding Philemon benefited from Paul’s prayers, so we should not be afraid to ask others to intercede for us as well. View Resource

  • The Effective Sharing of Faith Devotional

    Philemon 6

    That too many believers rarely consult other believers and elders in the church before making a decision reflects the degree to which a non-biblical individualism has corrupted even the thinking of Christians. While the church is not to legalistically bind the conscience, the advice of other godly people is invaluable when we are faced with several choices that appear to be equally acceptable before God. View Resource

  • Joy and Comfort in Christ Devotional

    Philemon 7

    As we think about the believers in days gone by, it is always important that we acknowledge the truth about the things that they did. We do these believers no favors if we pretend that participation in ungodly systems of kidnapping and racism was not so bad simply because they may have been exemplary in other matters. At the same time, we should beware of judging them too harshly, for none of us lives out the gospel’s implications perfectly. View Resource

  • Sin’s Reality and the Ideal Devotional

    Philemon 8

    As today’s study shows, understanding the cultural background of a passage in Scripture is important to figuring out why an author says what he says. In turn, as we hope to show in future studies, knowing this historical context also helps us apply today those texts that discuss difficult issues, such as slavery. Good resources, such as a basic Bible dictionary and encyclopedia can help any Christian learn more about the background of a biblical passage. View Resource

  • Apostolic Authority Devotional

    Philemon 9-10

    Even though a Spirit-filled motivation is necessary to make a good deed truly good, sometimes we have to start acting before our motivation aligns itself with our deeds: C.S. Lewis writes in Mere Christianity: “Do not waste time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.” View Resource

  • Onesimus’ Return Devotional

    Philemon 11-13

    Do you have relationships with other believers that would enable you to say with Paul that you would be sending away your “heart” if you were to move or otherwise lose the chance for face-to-face fellowship? God did not make us to function alone as believers, and we all need close Christian friendships to help us grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ Jesus. What are you doing to forge these relationships? View Resource

  • Free Consent Devotional

    Philemon 14

    Today’s passage reminds us, as John Calvin says, that “no sacrifices are acceptable to God but those which are freely offered.” Because we still struggle with the presence of sin in our hearts and minds, we must daily be working to nurture godly motivations for our good works. Daily we should be praying that the Lord would fill us with a love for Him and our neighbors that would move us to do what is right without compulsion. View Resource

  • Sovereign Separation Devotional

    Philemon 15-16

    Slowness to identify God’s design is important when we deal with tragedies. Too often we unhelpfully “identify” a specific lesson that the Lord is teaching to hurting people. Generally speaking, we know all things happen to help us learn to rely on God, but most of the time we do not know specifically why He ordains certain events. Let us not be afraid to admit that the Lord always has a purpose for what happens but that we often do not know what it is. View Resource

  • The Costs and Demands of Love Devotional

    Philemon 17-18

    Are you hesitating to do something that godly love compels you to do? If so, then may Philemon encourage you to stop putting it off and move forward today. Insofar as we are able, we must seek to be reconciled to those who have wronged us or whom we have wronged. Meditate on Paul’s epistle to Philemon and pray that you would be empowered to love others even when it is hardest to do so. View Resource

  • Receiving Onesimus Devotional

    Philemon 17-18

    John Calvin takes Paul’s willingness to help Onesimus be reconciled to Philemon as an example for us. The apostle, he writes, “warns us how affectionately we ought to aid a sinner who has given us proof of his repentance. And if it is our duty to intercede for others, in order to obtain forgiveness for those who repent, much more should we ourselves treat them with kindness and gentleness.” View Resource

  • Paying the Cost Devotional

    Philemon 19-20

    In Philippians 2, Paul calls us to follow the example of Christ and put others ahead of ourselves. We seldom consider how our decisions and behavior will be regarded in the community of believers, but this should not be. Instead, we must always factor into our decisions how what we do or say may or may not impact those around us. Do you consider how what you do and say will be seen by other believers that you know? View Resource

  • Going Above and Beyond Devotional

    Philemon 21-22

    Though the Bible allowed provisions for indentured servitude, which was a humane alternative to such harsh punishments for failure to pay one’s debts, such as debtor prisons, nevertheless the seeds for the abolishment for all forms of slavery were clearly sown in the New Testament. Church history evidences the impact of Christianity on the abolition of slavery as believers live out these implications of the gospel message. View Resource

  • Final Greetings for Philemon Devotional

    Philemon 23-25

    We who profess the name of Christ must follow Him even when He gives rules we do not like. People who are tempted to commit homosexual acts may not like the call to turn from these deeds, but if they are to follow Jesus, turn from them they must. We may prefer to gossip, commit adultery, lie, cheat, or steal, but turn from these acts we must if we want to be the Lord’s disciples. God’s Word is our standard, not our likes and dislikes. View Resource