Paul’s Call For Obedience, Hospitality And Prayer
We are nearing the end of Paul’s letter to Philemon. It’s the beginning of his ending, but there is plenty for us to learn from.
Confident of your obedience, I write to you knowing that you will do even more than I say. You might recall that previously Paul had mentioned that although he was confident enough in the Lord to order Philemon to take Onesimus back, instead he appealed to him. So what sort of obedience could Paul be talking about here? Obviously it is obedience to the Lord. If Philemon is truly going to follow Christ, then he would welcome Onesimus back with open arms as more than a slave, but a brother in Christ.
At the same time, prepare a guest room for me. Paul is telling Philemon he’s coming. He has never been to Colosae itself, so he wants to visit as soon as he is released from his prison. He wants to reunite with his brother, Philemon. He wants to reunite with Onesimus. He wants to see the result of his letter first hand.
For I am hoping that through your prayer I will be graciously given to you. How is Paul going to be released from prison? The Lord is going to do it, of course. The means, though, that the Lord has to do it includes prayer. Paul is asking for Philemon and the entire Colossian church to pray for his release.
1. Obeying the Lord means doing the right thing in situations, even when it flies in the face of societal norms.
2. We should all be prepared to practice hospitality when needed.
3. Prayer is the most powerful instrument the Lord has given us.