Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Pardon, cleanse and renew me.
Read Philemon 1–7
1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker— 2 also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home:
3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
4 I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, 5 because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. 6 I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. 7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you allowed Christ’s culture to shape your thinking?
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” These are words are attributed to sociologist Peter Drucker, who suggests that an organization’s values are more important than its strategic plans. Vision setting and planning have their place but shared values are the key factor. These will remain long after the ink fades on ambitious objectives, which is why understanding and at times changing culture is so important.
This is a very personal letter written to a friend and to the church which is meeting in his house. And yet it begins in much the same way as the letter to the Colossians. Paul thanks God for them because he has heard some great things (4). Philemon and his church share the same fine habits as the church in Colossae! This is not surprising in some ways since this church was probably founded by Epaphras, responsible also for planting the church in Colossae. But faith and love don’t come naturally and this young community is gaining a reputation for authentic Christianity. Their predominant values are faith and love (Col. 1:4), reminiscent of Paul’s magnificent ending to his love letter in 1 Corinthians 13:13. Paul is about to raise a tricky pastoral issue with Philemon but he is confident of a gracious resolution due to the strong Gospel values at work in this house
What are the values that have shaped you? What would you like to change? What steps can you make today towards change?
Lord, I want to be characterized by Your kingdom values. Shift my thinking and my perspective as I seek to follow You.
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