Meeting the Apostle Paul in a Roman prison changed the direction of Onesimus’ life, moving him from “useless” to “useful” as he surrendered his life to Christ. It was this change of purpose—this new way to live—that Aaron Buer, Pastor of Student Ministries, focused our attention on this past weekend.
Onesimus was a runaway slave who, in addition, may have stolen something from his owner Philemon. After Onesimus meets Paul in prison and commits his life to Jesus, Paul then writes to Philemon in an effort to begin the reconciliation process between the two men.
Jesus has given Onesimus a new way to live and Paul appeals to Philemon’s faith as the basis for accepting Onesimus as a brother in Christ. Because of Onesimus’ surrender to Christ, and his new purpose, Paul is asking Philemon to surrender his rights and forgive his returning slave. It wouldn’t have been an easy thing to do. Surrendering never is.
But it’s what God, through his gift of Jesus, calls us to do. It’s the way of Jesus as we become “like the Christ.” Becoming like Jesus is a life of constant surrender: our dreams, plans, time, and finances. It’s all to be surrendered.
If you’ve not surrendered to Jesus, placed your faith and trust in him and his work on the cross, we encourage you to do so today. If you have, there’s probably an area in your life that needs to be surrendered (or re-surrendered). In your Chair time today, surrender that area to God as you trust him for the results.