I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten
in my bonds which in time past was to thee unprofitable.
Philemon 1:10, 11
Read Philemon 1:1-11
Onesimus was a runaway slave. Apparently this was not due to a bad relationship
with his master. In fact, his master served the Lord and we may
believe that his faith also bore fruit in his relationship with the members
of his household, including his servants. Yet Onesimus left his master and
became a runaway slave.
By nature we are all runaways, for we have all turned our backs to God.
Onesimus may have had a few legitimate criticisms concerning his master,
but we cannot bring any charges against the Lord. He is the perfect Master,
yet we have cut off our relationship with Him and instead serve Satan, the
world and sin. We are not profitable at all but have become unprofitable.
Onesimus did not live up to his name, which means, the profitable one—
someone who is beneficial. Philemon experienced the opposite with this
servant. Onesimus had become a liability. Although we do not know for certain,
he may have taken something that was not his, or he may have become
slack in fulfilling his duties.
We are privileged to bear the name, Christian. Do we bring honour to that
name? Or do we dishonour it by arriving late at work, slacking in our duties
or even stealing from our employer? We also disgrace the name, Christian,
by quitting our job for another without a legitimate reason, thereby leaving
our employer in a lurch. Those who are Christians in name only dishonour
the Lord, but a genuine Christian brings honour to His name. Other at work
will notice that he performs his duties cheerfully and productively.
Thought: Do not be satisfied with being a Christian in name only.
Psalter 428:8 (based on Psalm 119)
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet,
A light upon my pathway unto heaven;
I’ve sworn an oath, which gladly I’ll repeat,
That I shall keep, as always I have striven,
Thy righteous judgments, holy and complete,
When unto me Thy helping grace is given.