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Confident in Thy Obedience (Philemon 21)

Introductory Thoughts

The epistle of Paul to Philemon was written to address the return of Philemon’s unfaithful servant Onesimus to his master. Paul and Onesiumus spent time together in prison. While in bonds together, Paul was able to lead Onesimus to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. After Onesimus got saved and learned the truth, he became a profitable servant of the Lord and a tremendous help to Paul’s ministry. Paul thought it wise to send him back to his master Philemon with a personal letter. Paul asked Philemon to receive him back, not merely as a servant, but as a brother in Christ (Philemon 15-16). Paul requested that anything owed by Onesimus to Philemon should be charged to Paul’s account. This was a difficult request, yet Paul knew he could count on Philemon to do right. In fact, Paul trusted Philemon to go well beyond his requests in the letter.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): Older children sometimes do not realize how much their actions are carefully watched by the younger children. Can your example be trusted to show the younger children how to behave and follow the rules in church. Are you polite, obedient, and respectful? Do you put things back where they belong and never throw trash on the floor?
  • (For everyone): When explaining Philemons dependability, Paul chose words like confidence and trust. What kind of words would be used to describe your dependability?
  • Paul asked Philemon for some difficult things and trusted him to obey. Can you be trusted in tough situations to do the right thing?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to help you to be strong so that others will know that they can count on you.
  • Ask the Lord to show you ways to be supportive of other believers.