Latest Thoughts of the Day
Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good--

Paul sees the hand of God intervening to take Onesimus away from Philemon for a short time and for a specific purpose. When we look at the situation, we see a dishonest servant escaping from his master (probably stealing to get the means) making his way by hook and by crook to the place where he connected with Paul, who in the amazing providence and mercy of God, God used to saved him. We see Paul dealing with the ticklish situation this presents. We see Philemon bothered by having to deal with this situation, wishing it had never happened. We identify with the struggle; Paul recognizes the hand of God. Lord, help us view unwanted circumstances like Paul does. Help us see how such things glorify Jesus.
Titus 3:5
...he saved us not because of righteous things we had don but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,

Psalm 115 begins, “Not unto us, not unto us, O Lord, but to thy name be glory because of your love and faithfulness” This is exactly the spirit of Paul as he worships God in this letter to Titus. And he worships on with praise to God for cleansing of our sins and granting us life within. Jesus lived and died and rose again to cleanse us of our sin. He sent His Holy Spirit to give us spiritual life. Our citizenship is in heaven, and it is God who has pledged Himself to get us there. All these things are in Paul’s outburst of worship. And all of them tune our hearts to sing praise to Jesus.

II Timothy 4:12
I sent Tychicus to Epheus.

Paul has need of Timothy and Mark, but he covers the situation at Ephesus by sending Tychicus to minister there. It is a visible picture of what Jesus is doing all the time in His church. Some are called to remain a long time in one place and minister faithfully for years. Others are moved around, because their particular gifts are needed in a particular place for a particular length of time, but may be needed somewhere else in the future. There are those who travel for Christ and those who stay put. Lord, help us to discern what you have called us to and to prove obedient to your call. There was evaluation, thought, and purpose in Paul’s decision involving these fellow-workers. So is there in Your keeping or moving us. Guide and direct us according to Your will, Lord Jesus.
I Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Lord, we fall into thinking that we can do all things through money, that gives us strength. Our hearts become set on the things that money can buy. Relationships become unimportant if they do not increase our wealth. Our whole lives can be subject to the needs of the job. Money can become our God. Open our eyes to the dreadful damage of such things. Help us to value time with you and family and friends and church. Help us to see that our real needs are things that money cannot buy. Help us to set our minds on that which is above, where Christ is. Help us to want most of all a living relationship with Jesus.
II Thessalonians 3:8
...nor did we eat anyone's food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we sould not be a burden to any of you.

Paul was determined to live as an example of what a Christian ought to be. He detected a lazy faction in the assembly at Thessalonica, and was determined not just to tell them to get to work, but to show them what getting to work involved. It would involve denying himself something he had every right to enjoy, lest they draw a conclusion that justified their sin. Lord, strengthen in us the desire for the good of others that leads us to self-sacrifice. Give us the desire to live as an example that others can safely follow. Your Son came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. Help us to be like Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5:18
...give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

God wants me to give thanks in the midst of pandemic confusion, under the threat of sickness, facing economic stress, not able to enjoy friends, stopped from doing much that I enjoy, and not knowing what will happen in the future. He must want me to remember that I still have enough food, am safe at home, have family around, have the means of carrying on my work and have very free access to all I really need. He must want me to see the blessings of extended family time, to appreciate the means for spiritual growth I still have. I don’t have to give thanks for everything, since much that is going on is not good. But I can thank God in everything, as I see the gracious hand of Jesus.

Colossoams 4:8
I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he mah encourage your hearts.

There is a touchy situation in the church at Colossae. All the Christians there would know about Onesimus, the slave who had run away from his master, Philemon. This slave had found his way to Paul, had been led to Christ and now was being sent back to his master to make things right. How was Philemon to react? What does one do in such a circumstance? How should the Christians there receive Onesimus? Paul sends his co-worker, Tychicus to explain what is going on, to encourage the Colossians to appreciate what God has done, and to deliver a personal letter from Paul to the master. Paul wants every Christian there to see and appreciate the grace of God displayed in our Lord Jesus.
Philippians 4:13
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

“Pow” and “Wham” are expressions of Superhero strength, but not in any way of the strength that Jesus gives. Quietness is a fundamental characteristic of the Christlike character. We triumph giving all the glory to Jesus. We suffer uncomplaining, trusting in God. Strength to endure every trial and rise to every challenge is that of which Paul boasts, and what he showed plainly in all his life as a Christian. He could face everything that God called him to endure and accomplish everything that God wanted done. And so it is with us. God does not give us strength to do what we want to do, but what He wants us to do. Help us to embrace this, O Lord. May every victory come from our surrender to the will of the One who loved us, even Jesus!

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