Summary: You sure got to hear this message, so as to gauge the growth of your spiritual life according to His Word!
We got to grow! Part 2!
Philemon our beloved friend and fellow laborer!
Philemon 1:1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved friend and fellow laborer, 2 to the beloved Apphia, Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house..’
You sure got to hear this message, so as to gauge the growth of your spiritual life according to His Word! It is heartbreaking to watch the people who had surrendered their life in an earlier meeting to again slide back to square one life style!
Let me explain the stages of growth: we got to move from being a sinner to believer, from believer to laborer and then from laborer to soldier! Amen. But most live a roller coaster life without any improvement. Do we not? Friend, it takes careful planning, meticulous maintenance, persistence and perseverance if you want anything to grow: right from grass to business. We cannot be lethargic and expect to grow and glow! As we walk down the labyrinth of time after salvation and knowledge of Christ, even after several years of sitting inside the church, many have arrived at a naught! Sad scenario!
Let me talk of the book of Philemon, which is the shortest epistle written by Apostle Paul and inserted towards the end of the New Testament; with just 25 scriptures - this book has ‘honey’ squeezed in it. You would love it as you hear me expound the book to you today. We have the preface of the book from verses 1-7, the substance and body of it, from verses 8-21 and then the conclusion from verses 22, to the end. My subject would be only from the first 4 verses and the last four…….listen!
Philemon is a convert through the ministry of Apostle Paul and we see the marvelous growth in his life. He did not remain a guest in the church, but opened his home to run a church. Do you have any idea what it takes to conduct a church at home? I know. Our church began from our living room in Hyderabad, since it was a duplex house, we used the ground floor for church. Since the house is in a colony, we had to keep the volume low and also keep a careful vigil when the kids attended the church, since most of the houses had a garden, we did not want any complaints from the residents. God protected us for nearly a year! Do we use our car to cart people to church, do we use our laptop, our electronic gadgets that we carefully shield for the kingdom of God? Have you ever thought of offering your car to your Pastor for the weekend (even though you may need it during that time) Tell me. We use churches for events like weddings, baptism ceremony, christening and funerals….rather than for salvation of our souls..! This is a cry from my heart!
Observe this please: Apostle Paul addresses Philemon as ‘beloved friend and fellow laborer!’ Can your pastor look at you and say this? As a leader of a church, I write this with tears! Most of the pastors got to play the role of the clown and then also the serious role of preaching. Anybody listening? How many volunteer to come on Saturday for the fasting prayer that is held in the morning, stay back to help the pastor arrange the music systems, sound systems, arrange the chairs, clean the place and be a support for him? What do you do on saturdays? If you love Him, you would not be snoring in the bed but you would go the extra mile of investing your Saturdays for God. We walk like guests into the church – half-hour late - without the Bible and expect God to do great things in our life!!!!!!! Shame on us!!!!! Worst still………we gossip about the pastor! Let this message stir you to arise for God!
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Further, the wife of Philemon is also blessed. When you grow and glow you would surely impact people around you - that includes your husband/wife! You can never remain unnoticed! I have something powerful to share in the next part………….don’t miss it!
Let God look at us and say, ‘my beloved friend and fellow laborer!’