Grace Givers | Philemon 1:1-3
Philemon 1:1-3 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker— also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace receivers should be grace givers. Those who have been given much should be generous in giving back. Those whose thirst is quenched should be willing to give a cup of water. Those whose stomachs are full should be willing to share a bit of food. Those whose barns are overflowing should be more than generous with the overflow. But…it’s not always the case, is it?
Paul writes this very tactful, lighthearted letter to a believer named Philemon with a specific purpose in mind. Philemon’s slave, a man named Onesimus, had stolen from Philemon and run away. In Paul’s day this was punishable by death. By in God’s sovereign plan the fugitive slave met Paul and trusted in Christ. As a follower of Jesus, Onesimus was willing to return and make amends even if it meant death. So Paul writes this personal appeal to ask Philemon to show grace and accept Onesimus as a Christian brother. Paul’s appeal is based on grace. Grace receivers should be grace givers.
Some of you are reading this with some outstanding relational issues. You are estranged from your mom, dad, sister, or brother. You are distanced from a son or daughter. You are separated from a friend. There is a wedge between your husband or your wife. Sure there are reasons. Sure you got hurt. And yes, maybe it was mostly their fault. But anything people have done to us, we have done to God…in spades. And He extends His grace and forgiveness. If He is willing to forgive us; we must be willing to forgive others.
Grace receivers must be grace givers. That’s a foundational value for a follower of Jesus. So pick up the phone. Write the note. Send the e-mail. Do it now before Satan talks you out of it.
Lord, please give me the grace right now to extend grace to _____________________. I do this because I follow the greatest grace giver of time and eternity. In Jesus Name, Amen