Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Slavery

Today's Verse
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always making mention of you in my prayers, because I hear of your love, and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all the saints; and I pray the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ's sake. For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother (sisters!).
~Philemon 1: 1-7

Thoughts on today's verse...
The tiny little book of Philemon is one of my favorites and is one of the Apostle Paul's Prison Epistles written during his first confinement in Rome. Onesimus was one of the millions of slaves in the Roman Empire. He had stolen from his master (Philemon) and had run away. Eventually he crossed paths with Paul, who led him to faith in Christ. This brought about a dilemma for the slave Onesimus - that of putting his new found faith into practice by returning to his master, or to keep on "running". Death was normally the punishment for a run away slave. Paul interceeded by writing this wonderful letter to Philemon, who was also a believer in Christ. Paul expresses to Philemon how Onesimus is now no longer a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother and partner in the ministry of the gospel.

The Apostle Paul often refers to himself as a 'bond-slave' of Christ. This is also a wonderful study of contrasts.
A few notes...
I believe it was actress Bette Davis who said, "Aging ain't for sissies." I agree and neither is illness. Everytime I think I've made some strides then there's a minor set back. The old 'two steps forward, three steps back.'

I have been overwhelmed and humbled by your comments, Ladies. Thank you so much for your prayers and well wishes. The major complaints still stem around the sleep issues. It's 3 a.m. here and I've been awake since 1:30 a.m. Even though the doctor has prescribed a sleeping pill, it doesn't seem to work well. I am grateful, however, as the warnings on the medication speak of it's addictive properties and I don't want that either. Perhaps it's time for Granny's remedy - a glass of warm milk, slightly sweetened with honey and flavored with vanilla.

I continue to walk daily and to give the bike a spin around the block in the evening if the monsoon winds and rain are not prevailing - and we do need the rain in Arizona.

My prayer...
Father God, help me to see my position in You. May I realize that I too was a slave to those things around me that would steal my attention from You. You also sent an advocate to plead my case - and of course that was Jesus who paid the price in full for my redemption. Even so, Amen!

Yours, because we're His,
Tamara