Philemon 1:20 (KJV)
Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.
Given the strong pastoral nature of the little letter to Philemon, I believe it is possible to draw out all sorts of applications concerning a pastor’s relationship with another pastor. This would be especially true of the relationship concerning a church member who has left one ministry and finds his way to another of like faith and practice.
- Apostle Paul appears as Pastor number one
- Philemon appears in my application as Pastor number two
- Onesimus appears as the wayward church member
Pastor number one requests Pastor number two, “let me have joy of thee in the Lord.”
He is sending the member back home. He wants to know that Pastor two will receive the member back graciously. Regardless of what damage he has previously done, Pastor one is returning him in better condition than he was when he received him.
Pastor number one then requests, “refresh my bowels in the Lord.”
He lets Pastor two know that whatever grace he shows to the member will be a grace received from Pastor one.
The inner connectivity of these ministries is apparent. They are obviously separate and independent ministries. They are not, however, isolated from one another. One ministry does impact to some degree the other ministry. We do not live in our own universe. Each ministry, if it is of the Lord, is also in the Lord.
To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.
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