From Slave to Brother
Philemon is an interesting book of the Bible. It is only one chapter and it is a very personal letter. The letter is from the apostle Paul to a friend named Philemon. The occasion of the letter is the return of a man named Onesimus. Onesimus was a servant of Philemon who had run away. While away, it appears that Onesimus comes into contact with Paul and becomes a follower of Jesus. The letter is a plea for Philemon to welcome Onesimus into his household, not as a slave but as a “brother”. It’s a very interesting letter and to me, one of the more interesting collection of verses is as follows: 15 For perhaps he departed for a while for this purpose, that you might receive him forever, 16 no longer as a slave but more than a slave—a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. Paul is asking Philemon to consider that perhaps God used Onesimus’ running away to lead him to Jesus and to accomplish His purpose.
I think that God can always use a circumstance and a decision that we might make to produce an outcome that He desires. This is one of the lessons of Philemon. I hope that you will trust God to produce His activity in your life and the lives of others.