A Beloved Brother
Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved. Philemon 1:16
Read Psalm 33:1-12
The Apostle Paul did not have an easy life. He was imprisoned; he would never be able to make another missionary journey to preach the Gospel of reconciliation and life, yet the direction his life took was in God’s hand. In this truth he found true rest.
In His providence, the Lord had directed everything so that Onesimus visited Paul. God then used the instruction of His servant to convert Onesimus. The Lord performed a miracle: He used the imprisoned Paul to deliver a prisoner of Satan. How wonderful God’s guiding hand truly was! Paul had to be brought to Rome so Onesimus might be converted. This must have been such an encouragement for Paul.
There are many imprisoned Christians today too. Sometimes the Lord is pleased to use them to change a persecutor into a follower of Christ; He does so by blessing a few words spoken by His ill-treated followers. This is usually in response to their prayers for their persecutors.
Paul and Onesimus became brothers in Christ; they were given mutual love for each other. Paul grew very attached to Onesimus. They understood each other, for the Lord had led their lives just as He guides our lives. He has ordered where we live, study and work. This means there is no such thing as chance. Therefore we ought to speak well of the Lord to our friends and colleagues. We should also pray for them. The Lord is a wonder-working God who delights to convert sinners. Do not have small thoughts of the Almighty! He speaks, and it happens; He commands, and it is there. The Lord turns enemies into beloved friends.
Thought: Because the Lord reigns, we should be motivated to pray for the unconverted.
Psalter 87:1,2 (based on Psalm 33) Jehovah from His throne on high Looks down with clear and searching eye On all that dwell below…, And He that fashioned heart and mind Looks ever down on all mankind, The works of men to know. Not human strength or mighty hosts, Not charging steeds or warlike boasts Can save from overthrow…, But God shall save from death and shame All those who fear and trust His Name, And they no want shall know.