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Thursday, December 15, 2016

More Than Friendship Evangelism (Philemon 1:10)

"I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains."

Prison wasn't a deterrent to Paul sharing his faith. In fact, he actively shared his faith while in prison and saw many come to Christ. One of those was a runaway slave of Philemon, a fellow worker and friend of Paul's. "I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains." Paul had a captive audience. Soldiers who guarded Paul and the other prisoners heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul saw everyone who crossed his path as a divine appointment from the Lord.

I wonder, had Philemon, even though he was Paul's fellow worker, ever shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with his slave, Onesimus? Perhaps that's the reason Paul prays that Philemon may be active in sharing his faith (verse 6). Sadly, many "workers" in the ministry never share their faith with others. They can hide for many years behind ministry "busy work" and even feel good about their ministry because they are so busy. Yet, people don't just figure out the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ by watching believers. They have to HEAR the Gospel in order to be saved. It has to be both modeled and explained.

Benefits of sharing your faith:
  • You have to be more careful about how you live when you become an active witness
  • You have to become a better Bible student because people ask difficult questions
  • If you share with enough people you will eventually see someone come to Christ
My husband recently came across a startling statistic regarding evangelism in our churches. Of the three and half million churches in the world only 7% are evangelistic. If the only things that last for eternity are the souls of men and the Word of God then we need to pray that God will help us to share our faith boldly with those whose lives intersect ours.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Philemon 1:1-25
  • How does Paul package his challenge to Philemon to prepare him for Onesimus' return?
Philippians 1:1-2:30
  • How does Paul view the church leaders in Philippi?
  • How does Paul view his imprisonment?
  • How does Paul view those who preach the gospel from false motives?
  • Why does Paul instruct those in Phillip to conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ?
  • How are believers to treat one another and what will be the result of doing so?
  • What does salvation look like as it is filtered through the lives of believers?
  • How does Paul illustrate the right attitude and likemindedness?
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the Lord to give you a greater awareness of the lostness of those around you.