Praise and a Petition for Philemon

If you did not yet read my first post, on Titus, here’s the link:  (  It has a brief introduction explaining this series of posts.

Paul also wrote the book of Philemon while in Rome as a prisoner circa 60 AD.  The purpose was to appeal to Philemon that he would forgive and accept back Onesimus, a runaway slave.

Underlined Verses (NIV 1984):

Philemon 1:4-7 “4 I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, 5 because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. 6 I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. 7Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

1. In the beginning of this short book [v. 4-5] Paul thanks God every time he prays for Philemon.  Why?  Because he has a strong faith in Jesus, and because he shows love to others.

Thinking Question: Do people thank God for me in their prayers?–Do I show love to others and have a strong faith in Jesus–so firm that it is obvious and affects every area of my life?  We are called to be “a city on a hill.” Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”

2.Through verse 6, Paul teaches us how important it is for us to be actively sharing our faith with others.

Thinking Question: Do I/How Can I use my everyday life/experiences to share the good news with people I run into?  Another application of this verse–actually the first several verses–is the necessity of prayer.  As believers we should be regularly praying for each other.

Life Application: One thing I try to do is this.  Every time I think of someone I pray for them.  It does not matter who they are or how well I know them.  God knows each and every one of us intimately.  Take a few minutes of each day to pray for people in your life.

3. Verse 7 restates *1 Corinthians 13.  I need to love others–even when they are being unkind or hurtful.  Also when I show love it encourages other Christians to do likewise.

There is truth in every book of the Bible, even the smallest ones.  If you have not read the Bible before (no matter what your religious beliefs are) I strongly urge you to.  Go to this page [] to see a short summary of each book and my suggestions to new readers.

* 1 Corinthians 13 (NIV 1984):

“1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”