Give thanks for the members of your family and the positive influences they have had on you.
Read Philemon 1:1-7
 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.  I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers,  because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus.  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.  Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow does Paul feel about the people he is writing to?
It is often suggested that the three people the letter is addressed to (1,2) were probably a family unit, Archippus possibly being the son of Philemon and Apphia. Paul clearly has a great affection for these people; his thankfulness and love for them as individuals is seen in his desire to visit (22). Of course he is thankful for the reports of their faith and their care for other believers (4,7), but the letter implies personal feelings for them as friends as well as being his family in Christ. Their conversion came about directly from Paul’s ministry (19). While Philemon would have been the initial convert, there’s no sense of tokenism about the faith of the rest of the family. A church is meeting in their home, so Apphia would be a hospitable hostess. Archippus is mentioned here as a fellow soldier (2), and in Colossians he is exhorted to finish the work given him by God (cf. Col. 4:17). Conversion into God’s family often leads us into new and unexpected ministry partnerships with people. It brings a depth of relationship that we sometimes don’t experience within our own families.
How has your family supported you in following Jesus? How has your church family picked up from there?
Pray for those closest to you within your family and church family. Thank God for their partnership with you (6).
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