Sunday, December 13, 2009

Onesimus, the Runaway Slave

Paul's Letter to Philemon

When Paul was old, a prisoner in Rome, to Philemon he wrote a letter.
He said was sending Onesimus home so all could see he was better.
This once worthless, runaway slave had experienced a transformation,
For while in Rome he was saved, responding to God’s invitation.

This man, Philemon, was close to Paul, a special friendship dear.
The circumstances were known to all, so Paul spoke frankly and clear.
“I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do,
But let the following story unfold and carefully think this through.

Onesimus is like a son to me. His faith is genuine and true.
All who know him clearly see that he would be useful to you.
Though still a slave in earthly terms, he’s a brother in the LORD.
Now, with all that he has learned, his usefulness is restored.

Personally, dear friend, if it were up to me, I’d keep him here in Rome.
He has been a blessing to me as I minister from my home.
If for some reason he returns, it must be with your consent.
We have committed this matter to God in whom we are content.

Since we are partners in the LORD receive him as you would me.
Whatever it is that he may owe, you know I’ll pay the fee.
Perhaps his departure in a mysterious way was part of a greater plan.
You can receive him not as a slave, but a new and better man.”

There is a truth that flows through this letter forming a powerful theme:
Those God calls are changed for the better the moment they are redeemed.
We are given these earthly years to faithfully live for His glory
Awaiting the day we give account, relating to Him our story.

What will I have to give to the Master when standing before His throne?
Will I have fruit to lay at His feet that moment when all is known?
Do I care about His kingdom? Have I responded to His call?
O Lord, I treasure your truth. Help me to give my all.

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