So, if you consider me as your partner, welcome him as you would welcome me.  Philemon 1-25  Paul referring to himself as a prisoner of Christ, out of love, appeals to Philemon upon the return of Onesimus, a slave who has run away. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just run away from the things which enslave us? Inevitably we find that running away only prolongs the healing. It would also be nice if every time we all had a “Paul” to appeal on our behalf, that we might turn and face the “pain of any issue” and be received in love. We don’t always get that physical support when we feel we need it the most. Although Paul was not able to go back with Onesimus, he reminds Philemon that what he is asking of him is in the Spirit of Christ. We are all imprisoned by something. From food to relationships we are captured by our own desires, needs and wants in life. It’s not all bad! However, the question we must continually ask our selves concerns the driving force of our actions as we live to achieve our goals. For Paul, it was his passion for the Gospel. From this one letter we don’t know the outcome of this relationship between Philemon and Onesimus. Yet from both sides, Paul’s challenge to Philemon and Onesimus remains our challenge. In what ways will we be a prisoner of Christ today?

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Give the king your justice, O God and your righteousness to a king’s son. Psalm 72  What we choose to hand down to upcoming generations is for us to consider. In the midst of all his troubles, setbacks and mishaps, King David chose righteousness. This encourages us because it shows us that doing what is right has little to do with perfection. Rather returning to God through faith has its reward. No one knows the number of days God gives. Whether the the days are many or few, people will remember how you made them feel. God has the same memory.

Return, O faithless children,…I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. Jeremiah 3:6-18

“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And he’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the promised land . . . So I’m happy tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man.”
Martin Luther King, Jr., “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop”