July 17, 2017
I am continuing my brief time away investing in my own heart, mind, body and soul. I treasure your prayers. My good friend, Omar Al-Rikabi, will continue to lead us through “Five Days With Philemon.” Omar pastors the First United Methodist Church in Heath, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. You will love him.
1 This letter is from Paul, a prisoner for preaching the Good News about Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy.
I am writing to Philemon, our beloved co-worker, 2 and to our sister Apphia, and to our fellow soldier Archippus, and to the church that meets in your house.
3 May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
4 I always thank my God when I pray for you, Philemon, 5 because I keep hearing about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God’s people. 6 And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ.
People are talking about you.
It’s an ugly truth, and no matter how many sermons, Bible studies, and Tweets we hear about the sin of gossip, it’s still happening. It’s a sin we all share in and all suffer from.
So if people are going to talk about you anyway, then give them something to talk about.
Today’s letter from Paul to his friend Philemon is one of the shortest books in the Bible. I’ve never, ever heard a sermon preached from this book. Until this Daily Text, Philemon had been little more to me than a name in the litany of, “Can you name every book in the Bible?”
But this little letter packs a very important punch for letting our walk match our talk. So this week we’re walking through this letter in what I’m calling, “Five Days With Philemon.”
And Paul starts this powerful letter to his friend with, “I”m hearing things about you.”
What is the gossip?
“I keep hearing about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God’s people.”
I once heard the definition of a saint as, “Someone you can’t talk about without talking about Jesus.”
It’s a tall order, to be sure, and sometimes people do say false things about us. But most often when we gossip – or people gossip about us – the talk is about something negative. But what if we lived a life where people were compelled to talked more about the love of Jesus when our name came up?
In the church I pastor, my usual benediction is, “May the Holy Spirit so fill you with Holy Love, that when people talk about you they have to talk about how much Jesus loves us.”
I’m not all there yet (just ask my wife and my congregation), but I’m praying to be. If we’re moving from sinner to saint, what does that look like? Stay with us these next five days and find out.
To be continued…
Heavenly Father, you spoke and created the heavens and the Earth. Your word tells us the power of life and death is in what we say. My the Holy Spirit so work in our lives and fill us with Holy Love, that when others talk about us, or we talk about them, people have to talk about how much your Son Jesus Christ loves us. In his name we pray, amen.
1. Why do you think gossip is the easiest sin to fall into and the hardest to get out of?
2. What do you hope people say about you as it relates to the gospel?
Join the Daily Text Fasting Challenge here. Whenever you sign up, it will begin the following Tuesday.
J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. firstname.lastname@example.org.