Philemon was a brother in Christ in the first century. The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to him. We all get letters, but could you imagine getting one from the Apostle Paul? It would be like us getting a personal letter from the president. We would quickly open it and see what he had to say.
Paul thanked Philemon for his generosity. He was kind and faithful to others and shared his faith with them. He was also a slave owner which gives us the idea he was a wealthy man. Sometimes when a person gets a letter from the president today, it would be asking for funds for an election. Not so with Paul.
Philemon had a slave who had run away. We don’t know why, but he did. His name was Onesimus. This name meant useful. He was not being very useful to Philemon at the present was he? When he ran away he evidently made it to Rome and the Apostle Paul. Paul had taught him the gospel and he had obeyed the gospel. Now Paul was sending him back home. He who had been useless to Philemon had been useful to Paul and now he would be useful to Philemon again. Philemon is asked to receive him back as he would receive Paul. If anything was owed him, Paul told Philemon to charge that to his account.
There are times in our lives when we may be useless as well. There are times that we stray away from God. Instead of living for our Savior each day, we live for the god of this world – Satan. When we are not serving God we are useless to Him.
But what a wonderful thing our God has done. He has provided a way for us to get back to Him and be useful once more. All we must do is repent of the sin in our lives and commit them to God. At that point He will forgive us of all of our sin.
When you look at your life today, is it one that is useful or one that is useless? No matter how much you have wronged our God, He is always willing to forgive your sins. Let’s all be useful for God as we live in this world.