Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn's painting of Philemon
1 Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon our beloved fellow worker 2 and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house:
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, 5 because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, 6 and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. 7 For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.
8 Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, 9 yet for love's sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus— 10 I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus,[Onesimus means useful or beneficial], but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) 12 I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart.
13 I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, 14 but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord. 15 For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, 16 no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
17 So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. 18 If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. 20 Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ.
21 Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you.
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, 24 and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.
25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
Paul - here is a fine example of God's heart portrayed in Paul. Paul , if you count all the times he loves the people he preaches to, shows us the parental qualities of God.
1 Corinthians 4:17
That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.
Sometimes listening with our heart involves looking at the very word God gives us.
Apphia our sister
the church in your house Grace to you and peace
I remember you in my prayers
knowledge of every good thing
joy and comfort from your love
hearts of the saints have been refreshed
I prefer to appeal to you
sending my very heart
as a beloved brother
knowing that you will do even more
Paul is sending his very heart. God HIS heart for you to have -
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
Thank You, Father God, for revealing your heart for us in these words. Thank You, Father. Help us each day to teach Jesus Christ, the qualities of Jesus in every place we go. Amen.
♔ Lord Jesus Saves! †