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!
16 no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.
An Act of Forgiveness | Kathy Page
This letter is so very much about forgiveness, but we don’t see that word in these pages of scripture at all. However, we do see its actions, and one of those actions of forgiveness is restoration. To restore means to put back into service.
Paul is asking Philemon to make restoration to Onesimus, his slave who had sinned against him. Onesimus had been forgiven by God; he was transformed by the grace of God. He had proven himself a faithful brother to Paul. He was so faithful that he deeply impressed himself upon Paul. Philemon was not getting the same man back who had run away from him, the old man—gone, new man had come. Paul was not asking Philemon to free Onesimus from slavery. But, he urged him to receive him as more than a slave, as a beloved brother in Jesus. Now, it would be Philemon who would perform an act of forgiveness and restore Onesimus to that relationship with himself.
Restoration is an act of forgiveness.
How am I doing in my broken relationships? Am I forgiving, restoring and healing? Or unforgiving and only tolerating. Do I care for runaways like Paul has done? I too once was a runaway. God never turned away from me. He never gave up on me. I must through His grace and strength do the same for others who are hurting, broken, and running away.
Father, I know I have made mistakes, and I ask Your forgiveness. I have made foolish choices, but I know Father You are in the business of restoring those that are hurting and mending those who are broken. I pray that You will help me to restore any broken relationships in my life with the same grace and tender mercies You have shown me. 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.