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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Philemon 1:10

I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds.

For further study - Philemon 1:1-25

It is true that there is no prophetic passage found in the book of Philemon. However, in this little New Testament book, I find Paul as our example of how to work towards a "crown" that will be given to some at the Judgment Seat of Christ. It is the "Crown of Glory" spoken of in I Peter 1:1-4.

The "Crown of Glory" is given to those who are always ready to step up to "feed the flock", to build them up in the things of the Lord. Peter reveals that we do not serve as "feeders of the flock" for filthy lucre and not by constraint, I Peter 5:2. Peter's exhortation is for us to be an example to the flock.

You know that is what Paul is doing in Philemon. Paul is showing Philemon, by example, how to deal with a former servant of Philemon, the person who stole from him and then fled to Rome, the servant Onesimus.

When Onesimus arrived in Rome, he made contact with Paul and was converted to Christianity. Paul knew the circumstances surrounding the relationship between Philemon and Onesimus, and he is used of the Lord to develop Onesimus into a very profitable brother in the Lord.

Next, Paul having built into the life of the "servant", now wants to build into the life of his former owner, the one who had been violated. Paul writes to Philemon requesting that he take back his former employee, one who could be very profitable to him in the future, verse 11.

Paul is working towards that "Crown of Glory" Peter wrote about, as he works with both Philemon and Onesimus. Paul was ambitious for these crowns, II Corinthians 5:9, because he knew that these crowns would one day be presented back to the Lord Jesus in thanksgiving for what He has done for us, Revelation 4:10.

The "Crown of Glory" is only one of five crowns we can receive at the Judgment Seat of Christ. We receive a "crown incorruptible" for bringing our body under subjection, I Corinthians 9:27. We will be rewarded a "crown of rejoicing" for being a soul winner, I Thessalonians 2:19. There is the "crown of life" for not yielding to temptation, James 1:12. There is also the "crown of righteousness" for loving the appearance of Jesus Christ at the Rapture, II Timothy 4:8.

In Philemon, Paul, by example, helps us to understand how to receive the "Crown of Glory".

PRAYER THOUGHT: Lord help me to work towards attaining all five of the crowns so that I can give them back to you in thanksgiving.