In yesterday’s message, we took an honest look at the question of what right Paul had to speak into Philemon’s life and his business dealings with his slave, Onesimus.
One of the key principles Paul leaned on to defend Onesimus, his spiritual son, was the equity that had been built between Paul and Philemon.
Equity is the relationship developed through love and over time.
Equity is like a checking account, and every relationship begins with a small deposit. What we do with that initial deposit determines how long the relationship will last.
Time, love, and sharing experiences such as victories and heartaches build equity in a relationship.
Disappointment, frustration, and unresolved conflict make withdrawals in a relationship, and you can only be overdrawn for so long before your account gets closed and the relationship gets broken.
You have gone through life opening and closing accounts and maintaining old lines of credit without even realizing it. You just called it friendship all along the way.
Paul was in an equity crisis with Philemon through this letter and he was drawing on every ounce of shared vision and experience the two of them had together. He was zeroing out the account in this request for Onesimus’ life, and he was hoping he didn’t find himself overdrawn.
I handle our family finances, and I mange our money with an organizational system that works the best for me at this time in life. But, I don’t handle our money with precision as much as close approximations.
I am usually aware that I could be off by a little on my balance, and I compensate for what I know is a weakness in my system by intentionally placing a cushion in our checking account. I deposited 200 dollars into the account and never wrote it in the register.
It’s my grace cushion. It gives me the chance to be off a little bit, and not be penalized.
Would you determine today to put a grace cushion in your relationship accounts? It is very possible a friend could be off one week or one month. It is very possible someone could miss an important moment. It is even possible that one day a conversation won’t go so well between you, and that friend is going to need a little extra equity in that moment. If you would pad the account with grace today, it may save a relationship tomorrow.
People are the only eternal thing we come in contact with on a daily basis, and our relationships with those God has placed in our lives have the potential to last forever.
Click HERE to listen to Pastor Eric’s complete message of Paul’s Letter to Philemon. (Podcast will be available late Monday afternoon.)
We have a new blogger in our congregation. Oasis of Praise is a beautiful sight dedicated to maintaining a heart of praise even in the “Calgon” moments of life.
Check out this amazing video of a fiery 3 year old bedtime prayer! Talk about discipleship!
On the Radar
ALL CHURCH NIGHT OF WORSHIP this Wednesday, 7 pm, at EFC! For more info, check out our website at www.efcsweetwater.com!
Pastor Eric and his son, Keegan, leave in just 10 days on a mission trip to Eastern Europe. They will be traveling to Croatia and Poland as Pastor Eric teaches in several church leadership schools and preaches in local churches with Prepare International. Keegan will be getting his feet wet on the mission field and being an “armor bearer” for his dad. Please pray for this trip and these two travelers as they help bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Europe!
Brazil Mission Trip — Pastor Mindy and Pastor Lorin leave in December for a mission trip to Brazil! They will each need to raise over $3,000 for trip costs. For more info and to find out how you can support their trip, click HERE.
Revelation Bible study this Tuesday from 12:00 – 1:00 in my office. Everyone is welcome to join in, just bring your Bible and a lunch box. Keep up with the progress at The Watchman’s Gaze.
You Heard it at EFC
Been trying to remember one of those awesome songs we sang? Here is our worship list from yesterday, for those of you who just absolutely need a copy for yourself. You can usually find them for purchase on itunes.com.
- “Jesus Forever” by Anthony Skinner
- “I Have Found” by Kim Walker
- “Breathe” by Kathryn Scott
- “Inside Out” by Hillsong
Next Sunday, November 8, we will conclude our exploration of the book of Philemon by examining Philemon’s perspective as he received the Apostle Paul’s profound letter.