11 December 2011

Reading: Philemon; Hebrews 1-4


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. (Philemon 4-6 NLT)

What an amazing story! Philemon was a prosperous member of the Colossian church whose slave Onesimus had run away to Rome. Onesimus probably knew Paul from visits Paul had made to Philemon’s house where one branch of the Colossian church met. Somehow Onesimus made his way to the place where Paul was imprisoned. Paul led him to faith in Christ and then convinced him to return to Philemon, submit himself, and make things right. Paul wrote this letter to ask Philemon to generously and graciously forgive Onesimus and receive him back, now as a brother in Christ.

Paul used the phrase, “The generosity that comes from your faith..”

People who have much of this world’s wealth can be generous because of their faith. Instead of merely heaping up wealth for themselves, they can be major impact givers to the needs of others and of God’s work.

People who have less or even little can be generous because of their faith. Instead of selfishly hoarding of their scarce resources, they can be faithful and gracious givers out of what they have, knowing that God will cause the seed they sow to produce a good harvest and that he will bless them with treasure in heaven.

7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. (2 Corinthians 9:7-8 NLT)

You and I can be generous because of our faith. All it takes is desire and decision!


Father, Please help me to be generous because of my faith. Help me not only to give as an exercise of spiritual discipline, but to give joyfully and generously in faith that you will provide and that I will have enough to give and give again. Amen.

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