Sunday, April 26, 2009


I have always kind of wondered how this personal correspondence ended up in the Bible. Not because I in any way question God's sovereign ability to orchestrate the right writings being included, but because I am curious about His motive.

The first part does have a really challenging thought, just in the greeting. I like how verses 4-7 indicate that you cannot fully comprehend grace without putting action to your beliefs. You cannot study your way into a better understanding of God, you have to work on it.

Ten later, this letter gives another biblical snapshot of the kind of moral authority we must gain to become the kind of influential leaders that will bring people closer to a devotion to Christ. I think I already talked about this in Nehemiah's story, but this one shows it too. Paul was able to tell Philemon his business because of the moral authority he had. Paul had earned the right to speak into his life by his own integrity and faithful behavior over time.

So the first part of this tiny book tells us we have to actively share our faith publicly in order to know God better. Then later it shows that we can't be effective witnesses without having first earned moral authority to do so. That gives us all a starting place and map of how to live our lives. Living out an example of godliness and love. Then boldly speaking into the lives of those who need to hear His truth.

I guess that answers my original question of why God chose this little letter as a way to breathe His Word into us centuries later. Thanks again, Paul.


Bea said...

We're off to the OKC Memorial Marathon Relay--lots of girls who love Jesus wearing hot pink shirtds----May we share His love along the trail as He helps and guides us.