Thursday, December 10

Freely you’ve received; freely give!

Scripture: Philemon, Hebrews 1-4

Philemon 6 And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ.

Observation

I’m reading the NLT this year, and its translation of this verse stood out to me.  It’s different, but it makes sense in context.

Paul was writing a friend and fellow Jesus-follower, Philemon, to ask for a favor.  Would he show kindness to a runaway slave who is returning?  The slave, Onesimus, had become a follower of Jesus through Paul’s influence while both were in jail.  

Paul’s affection for Philemon radiates through this letter, as does his affection for Onesimus, whom he calls “my child” and “a beloved brother.”  “Welcome him as you would welcome me.” 

All this calls for a generosity of spirit from Philemon, and in this verse, Paul indicates that generosity “comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ.”  The more you understand and experience God’s generosity with you, the more generous you become.

Application

A few days ago, we read about “the unsearchable riches in Christ.”  We are so tempted to focus on what we don’t have that we miss what we do have!  As we focus on the riches of His grace, mercy, love, forgiveness and kindness, we are transformed and become more like Him.  His generosity inspires ours.  

Jesus said, “Freely you have received; freely give.”  (Matthew 10:8)

Today, I want to remember the riches of God’s grace to me and extend that same generosity to others.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the unsearchable riches in Christ that are ours.  Help me to give as freely as I’ve received.