‘This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him’ ~ 1 John 4:9
God works in mysterious ways indeed. His ways are beyond our understanding. Above the plans and pursuits of man, God’s hand carries forth his sovereign will transcending time and space, even in the lives of seemingly insignificant people. Onesimus is one such life touched by the hand of God. A runaway slave, his name means ‘useful’. But he proved to be otherwise to his master, Philemon, a believer in Colosse. Deserting his master, he ran away to Rome, hoping for better prospects in life. While he had his eye on the city, God had his eye on him. By divinely orchestrated situations, Onesimus finds himself meeting Paul who was under house arrest in Rome. This divine meeting opened the doorway of salvation in Onesimus’ life. But life did not turn out to be a bed of roses. The gnawing guilt of the past was a reality he had to deal with. But he did not have to do it all alone, for God was with him. God had divinely appointed for the apostle Paul to reconcile Onesimus back to his master, Philemon whom Paul already knew so well. So the letter was written, a personal note requesting the welcome of a runaway slave.
We are no different from Onesimus. We too have wronged God by our sinful ways, wrong attitudes, rebellion, laziness, disobedience and unwillingness to let go off our own pursuits. The past of our lives is all messed up. Turning away from its distressful gloom, we run away trying to hide under the cover of a smile, a calendar checkered with schedules, or putting on the garb of hyperactivity, even buying gifts for others and being overtly kind to get into ‘good books’ creating a good impression. But God has sent his personal note to us in Christ Jesus, a personal note of love and mercy. He came as the one sent from God to deliver us from the power of sin and death. Christ reconciled us back to God by shedding his blood on the cross for our wrong doing. Christ offers peace that no else can give, and strength to deal with the past by receiving the forgiveness of sins that comes by believing in Christ alone.
No life is insignificant to God, even that of a slave. He loves everyone and is concerned that all must come to repentance through Jesus and receive eternal life (2 Peter 3:9). Are you willing to open your heart and receive God’s love through Jesus? You can do so and enjoy peace and strength for all days of your life, including your past. For Christ has dealt with it.
Prayer – “Dear Heavenly Father, thank you so much for your personal note of love for me sent through Jesus Christ. I accept him as my Savior and Lord. Thank you for the peace and strength I find in you alone to help me live all the days of my life. I bless you Lord. Amen.”
Keywords: life, personal, love