In January, we read through Paul’s letter to the Colossians, and this month we are reading Paul’s letter addressed to a specific believer in the Colossian church — Philemon– written at about the same time. Paul’s intent with this letter was to restore a broken relationship through the transforming power of the love of Christ. Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Below today’s scripture is an example SOAP from our team. Whether it’s your first time reading the Bible or you’ve been doing daily devotions for decades, God will use this One Thing to speak to you. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts or questions on the reading, or prayer requests. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings.
Relationships | Kathy Page
The cross has two pieces. The vertical bar represents our relationship with God. The horizontal bar represents our relationship with others. Jesus reminds us that our walk with God is tied up with others. Throughout this letter, Paul has been appealing to Philemon to move forward in a relationship, now at the end of this letter, Paul does a ‘shout out’ to Epaphras, the founder of the church at Colossae, a mutual friend, a cell mate, and someone who is in a relationship of faith with Paul. He is saying how much he has appreciated the two of them walking together in this faith journey. He has appreciated the encouragement, the words of wisdom, the help his brother has given him along the way as they suffered together for Jesus. He was thanking his brother for sharing that root of faith with him.
Relationships matter. We can see in Scripture and especially here in Philemon, Paul’s relationships with others. But especially, we see the deep, intimate, powerful relationship he has with God. It is his top priority, his primary focus; even in adversity, he kept focused on his relationship with God. This relationship with God can break down walls and bridge all potential sources of division that conspire to keep us apart and fighting. My relationship with God is not just about God and me, but it is about God, me, and others. It affects everyone I come in contact with. It opens my eyes to see the value of others because God saw the value in me. What I focus on affects how I think about myself and others, how I treat others, how I interact with others, how I speak to others.
Father, I am so humbled that You graciously chose me in love to be set apart in a relationship with You. Holy Spirit, keep me ever mindful that this relationship be my primary focus. Father, You have lovingly treated me with compassion, kindness, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness. In this relationship, You are asking me to share what I have experienced from You with others. You are showing me that my neighbor is anyone in need of my help, whether it be a runaway slave, a fellow sufferer for Jesus, or my sister in Jesus. I am to love them as I love myself. Help me to do this always to Your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.