To Christian Teens: Don’t Worry About Tomorrow

SAN MARINODon’t worry about tomorrow.

Don’t worry about whether you have studied enough for a test. Or whether you are getting enough credits. Don’t worry about failing.

Don’t worry about whether you’re pretty enough. Or if you are doing the right sort of things, going to enough social events. Don’t worry about whether you have enough friends.

Don’t worry about getting a driver’s license. Or having a job.

I know it’s hard to stop worrying. I know sometimes I worry to much. Especially about the silly things like reading enough and fictional characters (I know, but it is true.).

I worry about whether I’m blogging enough. Whether I’m getting my point across or whether I’m making no sense. I worry about not fulfilling all my blogging deadlines for blog tours and such.

I worry about writing. Oh my novel. It’s needs a lot of work.

I worry about whether I’m doing enough schoolwork. Or getting high enough grades. I worry about not having a plan for college.

I’m worried about letting people down and disappointing them. About not living up to people’s expectations of me.

I worry about not doing something useful with my life. I’m scared of wasting my life.

Sometimes I feel like I’m just drowning in a never-ending list of things I need to do, places  I need to go, things I need to see,…and the list goes on.

I know, there is such a thing as having a good amount of pressure. Because it can help keep us motivated. Or we might just laze around all day and waste our lives away.

But there is also such a time when that pressure, anxiety, worry, or whatever you call it becomes too much. Then it becomes overbearing. We become so stressed that we can literally lose ourselves in it. I know.

But we can’t allow these worries to control us. While we don’t have the power to overcome our worries, God can take them away and give us relief.

Matthew 6: 25, 31-34

That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

God will give you the peace you need. He cares for you. He loves you. He can give you reassurance that will cover all your worries. He can take away all your worries, you just have to trust Him.

We are afraid of trusting anyone but ourselves. But ourselves aren’t strong enough to get rid of our worries. Only God can do it. And trust is all it takes to make it happen.

-G. Paige

Here’s to You: You are Loved

Here's to You_

Hey readers! I’m starting a new series of posts today. I hope that you enjoy it! Please let me know your thoughts.

Here’s to you:

You are loved.

You are loved by your parents. You are loved by your brothers and sisters (if you have any). You are loved by all your relatives. You are loved by your spouse (again, if you have one).

But more important than that is the fact that you are loved by God. The God who created the whole universe. Everything from the protons, neutrons, and electrons that make up an atom to the whole solar system!

Is it not incredible to realize that God chose to make the insects, the birds, the sea creatures, the land animals, and you? He chose to make you. Before the beginning of time God made this decision.

He never had to create you or me. God was not obligated to give us life, but He chose to. He wanted to. And that choice makes all the difference in the world. It means the difference between being expendable and unwanted to having meaning and purpose. It throws a whole new light on your existence.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

God’s love fulfills all these classes so completely. God, as one verse stated, is love.

1 John 4:8

But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

While people’s love may change and shift, God’s love stays the same. It will not diminish. It will not fade over time. It is not dependent on how “good” you are or how much sin you have.

God loves you just the way you are. And He’ll love you the same no matter what you do. No matter how many mistakes you make or how far you drift away from Him, He still will always love you. That’s a promise.

His love will cleanse and take away all sin. Any sins that you have ever committed won’t matter anymore. They never will again. The burden that sin has placed on you will be gone.

His love was so great, that He was willing to sacrifice His only son to save us, the people He loves.

Can you imagine the kind of love God has to let His own son be beaten until He unrecognizable and then killed by the very same people He was trying to save? I can’t even begin to comprehend it. It resembles the kind of love Abraham showed when he was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac to God. And it is such a beautiful and sacrificial kind of love.

Wherever you are in your life, whatever you’re going through, know this: God loves you. Never lose faith in His love. Trust in Him. For His love is always with you.

-G. Paige

 

Love: What is its true meaning?

We are immersed in a society full of immortality. There’s no denying it. This is a sinful world full of sinful people. We can’t escape it. It’s all around us.

In some subjects I believe that society has gotten so confused on what is morally and realistically right, that even Christians have a hard time seeing the truth. We’re just as confused as they are.

And I’m here today to talk about one of those subjects. Love. The type of love that later may evolve into marriage. This subject has been so twisted and corrupted that nowadays it means something totally different from what it was supposed to mean.

How has love come to mean what it does today (That is, a sexual relationship based on mainly feelings and physical appearance.)? Well, I’m pretty sure media has played a big part in it.

Whether it is movies, books, music, etc., they have all in one way or another projected this false image of what love is. Now, I’m not saying that all books and all movies and all music is that way, but much of it is.

This, in part, is why so many marriages are torn apart. Because they expect marriage to be like an image that they have accepted as true from what they have been taught, but it is not.

The reality is that love is not at all like what the world has told us. It is something better, something more.

But where can we find the true meaning of love? We can start by going to the Bible. For who else could tell us more about love than the One who proclaims that He is love?

1 John 4:16

We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.

What is love?

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Love is now based on feelings and emotions between a man and woman and even between a man and man or woman and woman. It is not at all what it was supposed to be.

Yes, feelings and emotions play a part in love, but those types of things can’t be relied on to last. The love that Christ shows us is deeper than that.

His love is sacrificial. It’s everlasting.

I’m not claiming to know everything (I’m not married.), but if we could even begin to show that type of love in our marriages today, I believe we’d have a glimpse of what true love looks like. We’d begin to see the kind of love that God shows us. The kind of love that’s willing to make sacrifices. The kind of love that places others first before themselves. The kind of love that endures.

Don’t trust the world’s standards for marriage. Trust in God’s standards. Love is between a man and a woman. It certainly isn’t easy. But with God at the center of it, it’ll be going in the right direction. And that will lead to a long-lasting marriage.

Mark 10:6-9

But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation. ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.

Maybe you are already married. Maybe, like me, you’re not. But let’s look for this kind of love in marriage or in the one we hope to have.

-G. Paige

Letting Go of Pride, Taking on Humility

Letting Go of Pride, Taking on HumilityI find myself at times to be a very prideful person. I may not talk like I am, or act like I am, but I am prideful.

Pride is “a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.”.

I must say I have a very hard time discouraging those prideful thoughts. Those thoughts that pretty much all same the same thing: I am better than you. But don’t we all struggle with pride in little ways?

James 4:10

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

God call us to be the opposite of prideful: humble. God calls us to be humble. We all struggle with it, some more than others (like me). Pride is a fundamental part of our sinful human nature. But humility is something we all must summit to, if we’re to take those first steps to being saved.

That humbleness to admit that God created and controls the word. That humbleness to submit to the one and only God. That humbleness to confess that we’re sinful and we need help, help that we can’t give ourselves. All of it takes strength. Strength that we don’t have.

Philippians 4:13

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

God, He freely gives His strength. It is always there for us. But we can be too prideful to take it. We trust only ourselves. We don’t want to rely on someone else. We want to earn our own salvation. We don’t want to feel like we owe something to anyone.

But we already owe God everything. The earth we’re standing on, is His. Our very lives belong to Him! Everything we have, everything we were, everything we are, and everything we will ever be is in His hands. By His grace we’re alive! It is all belongs to Him.

All we have to do is give Him our hearts. He gives us the strength, and we make the choice.

Though it is hard for us to let go of pride, we must realize that nothing we do is done by our own strength. It is all through Him. Nothing we do is done through our own strength. We just have to learn to trust and rely on Him. It will be such a relief once we do, but we must take that first step. And we might have to keep taking that step, because it is so easy for us to forget and try to bring everything under our control. We want to be in control, but we need to let it go. Because holding on to pride will get us nowhere.

God is our strength. We can rest and have peace in Him, if we only are humble to give ourselves fully to Him. He is our rock, our foundation. On no one else can we find the strength we so desperately need.

We need help, help only God can give. Let’s find our strength in Him and let go of our pride.

-G. Paige

 

Just A Fact

tag-wordpress

Hello everyone! Today I’m posting tag that I got tagged in. Thank you Mary Kate for the tag! I love tags! I hope that you enjoy this post and learn a little bit more about me.

A Fact About Me: 

If you saw me in real life, I’d be the person on the sidelines of a group. I’m very quiet and shy (Though, I’m definitely not as shy as I used to be.). I’m not as comfortable in a group than by myself or with a close friend.

But even though I am quiet, I have struggled with self-control. I have a hot temper which pops up very easily. It almost always happens because of problems with my siblings. That is not an excuse, but that is how it usually happens. Unless it is schoolwork. Ugh…I can get so frustrated with my schoolwork.

This is something I still struggle with. Sometimes I think I have gotten better with it, while other times I think it has gotten worse. Either way, I know that only with God can I overcome my faults. I can’t save myself. That is impossible. I need to keep trying to get control of my anger, and I think I don’t always try hard enough. Of course, I can’t just try. I need to trust and pray to God for guidance.

If you struggle with something, remember to not rely on yourself. You can’t overcome it on your own. Pray to God for help and just keep trusting in Him.

Luke 18:27

He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”

Guidelines:

  • Take the banner and paste it to your post.
  • Tell a single, meaningful fact about who you are.
  • Explain this fact as open, and explanatory as you can.
  • Tag at least one other blogger, and give a reason why you think they should do this.
  • Add a Bible verse to close out this tag.
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you.
  • Have fun!

Tagged:

You seems to do a few tags now and then. So this might be a great opportunity to know more about you.

I don’t know if you want to do this, but I’d love to learn more about the author of The Blades of Acktar.

Morgan, I think you would do great with this kind of tag.

You’ve been a great friend. I would love to see what you would say for this!

Your posts are so fun! I think it would be awesome to see you do this.

I love chatting with you on Goodreads and I love the tags you do.

You just started a blog and so I’d love to be the first person to tag you in something.

-G. Paige

Peace: Can We Find It?

ahrPeace. Is that not what we all want? Peace from war. Peace from stress and anxiety. Not a single thing to worry about. No tragedies. No struggles. No hard times. No sadness. No sickness. No death. Well, that’s starting to sound like a utopia to me, don’t you think?

I know we can’t really stop wars, though we can be a good influence in the world and maybe it would happen less. Tragedies, slavery, starvation, natural disasters, and the like are always going to be here. We can make a difference in the world. But are any of these things ever truly going to stop? No, and that includes death. “So, are you telling us to just give up?” You might be asking. No, I am not. But I am saying some things just will never come true, at least, until Jesus returns.

Peace, inner peace, all of us can have. God, the creator of all the Heavens and the Earth, offers us peace. How do we get this peace?

Philippians 4:6-7

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

God’s peace is beyond anything that we can even begin to comprehend. It can never be taken away from us. All we have to do is trust God with our lives, our struggles, our hopes, our dreams, and everything!

‭This is part of a song praising God.

Isaiah 26:3

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

‭‭I think this is one of the main reasons we have trouble being and staying at peace. We can’t keep our thoughts fixed on God. I know, it is hard. We get so caught up in our lives at times. Our worries and everything else get in the way what we should be spending time on.

Another reason could be fear. We want control over our own lives. If you pay attention to what the world is doing today, it seems we want control of everything. The desire for control, power is one of our greatest downfalls.

Now we need to let go. We have to have faith. Jesus has given us that chance for peace.

Romans 5:1

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.

Because of what Jesus did on earth, when we have faith and trust in him our sins are wiped clean. We become righteous to God! That, is why we owe him everything, especially our lives. So we should be full of joy to be able to glorify Him through everything we do.

John 14:27

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

‭This peace is such precious gift (See what I did there?). Money and other material stuff can not bring you peace, only God can. God is the only one who can give you everlasting peace. No thing, no one, can do that.

We may not know where we are going or what is going to happen to us, but God does. We can rely on Him to lead us down the right path. He is good, and can’t do anything wrong or He wouldn’t be God.

So lets trust Him and receive that peace. Alright? It is such a relief to know that your life is not in your hands and in the much more capable hands of God.

In closing, here is one more verse. I wish it for all of you.

2 Thessalonians 3:16

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.

-G. Paige

To Christian Teens: To Be A Friend

aheartredeemedimageI move around a lot. I mean way more than “normal” people do (if there is such a thing as “normal”). Every time I move, I come closer to realization of just how much my friends mean to me. So a few months ago I moved to Puerto Rico (this was a big change for someone who has only lived in the United States). Anyways, I decided the move and other circumstances have led me to believe that friendship would be a fitting topic for today.

I’m pretty sure just about everyone has a friend. We were created to have a certain friendship with  God so it’s no wonder that we want to be friends with each other. It is a natural desire for us. Since having friends is important to us, I think some advice on friendship would be worth the time.

First off, we all need friends. Don’t even think about denying it. We need friends or, at least, a friend. Ultimately, God is our first and only friend we will ever need. But it is so encouraging and uplifting to have friends in the physical sense. Friends that will be there for us, no matter what.

John‬ ‭15:12-14

This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. 

Christians (those who obeys Christ’s commandments) are Jesus’s friends. He considers us his friends. Now tell me that isn’t neat.
What does it mean to be a friend? A friend is someone who you place your trust in and you know quite a bit about them. You probably talk about hard, intimate stuff that you wouldn’t talk about to a stranger. You know him/her and he/she knows you.

Proverbs‬ ‭27:10‬

Never abandon a friend— either yours or your father’s. When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance. It’s better to go to a neighbor than to a brother who lives far away.‭‭

To be a friend means being there for them in any way possible, encouraging them, loving them, giving advice that you are able to give, and maybe if you are really close and you both are willing, being accountable to each other. What I mean is criticizing each other on your strengths and faults even if it hurts. I do not want you to be all harsh and cruel, but give advice in a kind and Christian way and your friend taking it as well as he/she can. Of course, also switching the roles. We need to hold each other accountable. That is true Christian friendship.

Matthew‬ ‭7:1

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.

People will use this verse as incentive to not hold each other accountable, judge, or criticize. But if we are Christians we should. Look at the next verse after the one above.

Matthew‬ ‭7:2

‭‭For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

God was not saying “Don’t judge.”, He was just saying to be prepared to be judged yourself if you are going to judge others.

Proverbs‬ ‭27:17

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.‭‭‬

This is so true. Our friends can help us grow in our walk with Christ. To grow we need to be held accountable.

So I challenge you today to call, text, email, etc. to a friend. Give them an encouraging word. Or just chat. You don’t know how much it means to them (or, maybe you do). Don’t you enjoy getting a call, text, email, etc. from a friend?

-G. Paige
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Heave Your Worries On Who You Really Need

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By the way, if anyone hasn’t noticed, I changed my blog and updated it a bit about a week ago. The “About Me” has more about me on it and I have a “Book Reviews” page so you can go directly to any of my reviews. Check it out!

On Monday and Tuesday I read Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by Jonathan Edwards for the first (I hope it is not the last). Anyways, it kind of hit me how much we need God. I mean physically, mentally, spiritually, and in every aspect of our lives. So that is what I want to talk about today: why we need God and why we should not worry and just trust Him.

“So…why do we need God?” Well, if you haven’t noticed, we are already relying on Him every millisecond of our lives from the start to the finish. He brought us into this world and He can take of out of it whenever He desires.

Every time I wake up to a new day, every breath I breathe, every single heartbeat has been given to me, to you, by God. He causes the food we need to survive to grow. He gives us water to drink. He is the one who gives us jobs to get money to buy things (like clothes). The most important thing He has given us though, is eternal life.

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
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All we ever have to do is believe that Jesus is who he says he is. Once Jesus has come into our hearts, we are free from the bondage of sin. We will know where we are going after death: to Heaven for all eternity. But those who do not accept Christ as their Savior will spend an infinite amount of time in torture in Hell. That just about gives me chills to say that, but it’s true (by the way, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God talks mostly just about that). Still, has not God given us the most perfect gift anyone could ever ask for?

Another reason we need God is that there would be no purpose to life without Him. If there was no God, what would be the point of life? We live, we die, and that’s that. There would be no point or purpose to live for.

God gives us purpose and meaning. We were made to glorify Him. We (Christians) are His children. We have been given a mission to teach and lead others to accepting God’s free gift. We’re valuable to Him.

Matthew‬ ‭6:26‬

Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?

This leads us to another point: we need to rely on Him, to trust Him. He has our very lives in His hands already. So why don’t we just stop clinging to our worries and let God take care of it and lead us through it.

Matthew‬ ‭6:27

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
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What’s the point of worrying anyways? It only gets you stressed out and gives you gray hairs (Hahaha…). You can’t really enjoy life by worrying.

Proverbs‬ ‭12:25‬

Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.

God is perfect, holy, sovereign, omnipotent, omnipresent, and many other things. We can totally trust Him. He has been with us always, in every moment. He can do no wrong. Lets trust Him!

Some of you might be saying “But it is so hard to hand over our worries to Him!” I know, I still am working on it (we’re not perfect). But I think the reason why it is hard is because usually we are scared or maybe we want to have control of our own lives (as our sinful nature is prone to want). Either way, we need to let go of our worries. God has a plan for us (as I said in an earlier post), so lets let Him lead us through it. Because whatever plan He has, it will be for God’s glory and that, my friend, is what we’re supposed to do.

-G. Paige
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Life Has Its Downsides

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Life isn’t easy. We all know that. Or…should I say, we all should know that.

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23

The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.

I like to think that this Psalm explains our lives pretty well. We go through good times (resting in green meadows and beside peaceful streams) and we go through bad times (walking through the darkest valley). Anyone that tells you that because you believe in Jesus that you will live a long and happy life and become rich is telling you a lie. As I mentioned a week ago, that’s just not true. Now maybe some Christians will live that way, but that is definitely not the reality for most people. So don’t expect that to happen.

You may be asking “Why would God allow bad things to happen to us? We are his chosen people.”. To answer this question, first of all you got to know that God allows bad things to happen He doesn’t make them happen.

Job‬ ‭1:12‬ ‭

“All right, you may test him,” the LORD said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the LORD’s presence.

You see what God said there? He said “you may test him” not “you will test him”.‭‭ But still, why would He even allow bad things to happen stuff to happen in the first place? I think it depends on the circumstances. Sometimes He may be testing our faith, other times it is natural consequences of living in a fallen world, or it may be to help lead others to Christ through our suffering. It could be a number of reasons. We can’t even begin to comprehend God’s ways and His reasons. We just have to trust Him (which, by the way, God is totally worthy of our trust).

No matter what happens in your life (whether you’re going through good times or bad times) God is with you. As it says in Psalms 23, through it all, He is with you. Does that not make you feel safe and secure? It gives me a wonderful feeling to know that God is with me through my ups and downs. Through my bad days and my good days.

Deuteronomy‬ ‭31:6‬ ‭

So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.

This was said to the Israelites, but now it applies to all of us who believe in Jesus Christ. We will be taken care of no matter what. If that means dying and going to Heaven, so be it. Anyways, we will be going to a better, so much better place. Who wouldn’t be happy to go to Heaven?

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:26

Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?

We are so valuable in God’s eyes. It is great to know that I’m valued. My parents value me but God values me even more so. He loves me. He values me, just the way I am (sinner and all) and He will always be with me, always. This applies to all the Christians in the world. No matter what you have done or what you will do, God will still love, value, and be with you forever. I just hope that you take this to heart. We must never forget this gift God has so freely given to us.

-G. Paige

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Philemon

 

A few months ago I went through the book Philemon in my history curriculum. I was amazed to find so much depth in about a 430 word book. Now I’m not going to read through the whole book with you, but I decided to pull a portion out to read. I’ll take it and break it down piece by piece (or verse by verse, you might say). Before that, I like to shine some light on the background of this letter: Philemon was a wealthy man living in Colossae who had a big enough house for a church to meet in. If he was like the average wealthy man at that time, his household could of had several hundred people in it. Onesimus was one of his many slaves. Onesimus stole something (we don’t know what exactly) and ran away. Then he sought Paul out. He couldn’t have just met Paul in the street because Paul was a prisoner in Ephesus (we also don’t know why Onesimus went to Paul). So Paul writes a letter to a hurt and angry Philemon (and to the church) and probably has Onesimus take it to him. Now, lets read some of this letter.

Philemon 1:10

“I appeal to you to show kindness to my child, Onesimus. I became his father in the faith while here in prison.”

So this is pretty simple. Onesimus has recently come to faith in Jesus Christ. Paul, while stuck in prison, has become a father/teacher to Onesimus.

Philemon 1:11

“Onesimus hasn’t been of much use to you in the past, but now he is very useful to both of us.”

In this sentence, there is a underlining pun (which many moderns consider the lowest form of humor). You see, the name Onesimus means “Useful”. So really Paul is saying that: “Useful hasn’t been of much use to you in the past, but now Useful is very useful to both of us.” Ha! Funny, isn’t it?

Philemon 1:12-14

“I am sending him back to you, and with him comes my own heart. I wanted to keep him here with me while I am in these chains for preaching the Good News, and he would have helped me on your behalf. But I didn’t want to do anything without your consent. I wanted you to help because you were willing, not because you were forced.”

Paul is politely asking to keep Onesimus with him while he is in chains. He doesn’t want Philemon to be forced to help, but be willing to help.

Philemon 1:15

“It seems you lost Onesimus for a little while so that you could have him back forever.”

Philemon lost Onesimus for a little while (when he ran away) so that he could have him back forever as a brother in Christ.

Philemon 1:16

“He is no longer like a slave to you. He is more than a slave, for he is a beloved brother, especially to me. Now he will mean much more to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord.”

He is much more valuable now because he is a brother in Christ. As I said earlier.

Philemon 1:17

“So if you consider me your partner, welcome him as you would welcome me.”

Paul wants Philemon to forgive Onesimus and welcome him back. Another way of saying it is: Paul wants Philemon to do for Onesimus what he would do for Paul. And Philemon has been praying for Paul’s freedom.

Philemon 1:18-19

“If he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge it to me. I, PAUL, WRITE THIS WITH MY OWN HAND: I WILL REPAY IT. AND I WON’T MENTION THAT YOU OWE ME YOUR VERY SOUL!”

Paul usually had people write out what he said in his letters, but in his own handwriting he writes that he will pay back whatever Onesimus owes to assure Philemon that he will.

Philemon 1:20-21

“Yes, my brother, please do me this favor for the Lord’s sake. Give me this encouragement in Christ. I am confident as I write this letter that you will do what I ask and even more!”

Philemon is such a good friend to Paul that he trusts that he will do ALL that he has asked and even more! Isn’t it amazing how much trust Paul places in Philemon?

Now some people may ask: is Paul saying that slavery is acceptable or okay because he sent Onesimus back to his master? The answer is no. Paul was giving Philemon subtle hints of key beliefs of the Bible that would lead him to the conclusion that slavery is wrong. Paul did NOT believe in attacking social evils. He wanted Christianity as it was to lead people to the right conclusion.

Can you also see that Paul is acting as Christ to lead Philemon and Onesimus to reconciliation? It is beautiful to see how much care and effort Paul worked to set all to right between them. We should all try to strive to be like Christ, helping our fellow members in Christ to live in harmony as one body (the church).

-G. Paige