Today’s passage: Philemon 4-7
- Paul’s prayer concerning Philemon:
- Thanks for the love and faith that is evidenced in Philemon’s life, toward Jesus, and toward the church.
- A request, that Philemon’s life and the words he speaks (His faith/The Gospel message) would be effective, producing fruit.
- These observations of fruit are evidence of Philemon’s conversion and place in the family of God.
- Faithful, loving ministry and shared participation in the church brings joy and refreshing to everyone.
- Many people want church to “work” by simply coming to services and leaving.
- The fellowship of the believers produces fruit and joy when the believers are truly “fellowshipping” together.
Questions to consider:
- Paul knew a lot of people. And this is the Bible, so I don’t think he was lying when he said he prayed for Philemon often. How can Paul’s example give us encouragement to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ? Not just the amount of prayer, but the content of our prayers? What might happen as we are faithful to pray for fruitfulness in ministry for one another?
- How does this description of the life of a church differ from the way we sometimes think about church in our time and in our culture? How are your relationships with the people of our church? How close are we? How can we grow?
- If Paul was writing this letter to you, how might he have described the fruits that have come through your faithful service? What would you ask him to pray for you if you could? Where in your life and relationships might future fruit come from?