Beyond the Gospels: Philemon

Today’s Verses: Philemon 8-25
(Click on the link to read today’s verses.)

Paul spends time telling the believers what he wants them to do. He is making a way for his friend Onesimus. Paul asks them to welcome him back in spite of what happened before. He encourages them to love him like a brother, and is even willing to pay his debts. As he closes up the letter he writes,

And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me,
because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers.
Philemon 22

The words caught me by surprise. Hebrews defines faith as “being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see.” Paul’s faith and hope urge him to tell the believers to go so far as to prepare the guest room. I wonder if they really prepared the room. Did they clean the floors and get rid of the dust? How long did they keep it ready hoping and waiting for Paul to return?

Maybe you’ve been waiting for something too. Maybe you’ve even given up on it. Heed the words of Paul. Stir up your faith until it flames. Is there something you need to prepare in order to be ready? Run the race… keep the faith.

“…For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you
and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. …”
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
Lord, You know the things I’ve been asking for, praying for…
sometimes it feels like my words don’t make it past the ceiling,
nothing seems to change. Bless me with the faith to be sure of what I hope for
and certain of what I do not yet see. Show me how to prepare
for the answer to my prayers.

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