Lent 2024 | Day 29

By Janet Nygren
Day 29 (Monday, Mar 18)

As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly, to re-center my scattered senses upon the presence of God.1

Pause and pray.

“Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love… I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains…I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary…if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.” (Philemon 7-18)

Think about it.

In this brief letter, the apostle Paul is writing to Philemon, a fellow Christian, whose slave, Onesimus, ran away. Onesimus has become a Christian and helped Paul tremendously. Now Paul is sending Onesimus back to Philemon, and appealing to Philemon for Onesimus’ freedom. Paul’s request thrusts Philemon into a love J-Curve. Is Philemon willing to absorb the loss he would experience from letting go of his “property”? In today’s terms, it could be a cost of $150,000,2 which any of us would recognize as significant.


When Jesus asks us to count the cost of following him, as we said last week, the question is not just theoretical or emotional. He exposes our hearts and the things we trust in. Paul clearly states that he thinks Philemon ought to free Onesimus, but leaves it up to him. Paul is willing to absorb some cost as well. This week we will give some thought to dying to self in terms of material cost. Is this a struggle for you?

Pause and pray.

Jesus, help me have faith to follow where you lead.

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
(Matthew 6:24)

  1.  Prayer used daily in Lectio365 found at https://www.24-7prayer.com/resource/lectio-365/
  2.  Paul E. Miller, J-Curve (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2019), 27.

1 Comment

Nick Tebordo - March 18th, 2024 at 9:32am

Tom’s sermon was a great blessing! It caused me to look at the story of Philemon and Onesimus with new eyes. Paul’s comments reflect such love for his new brother in Christ. Everyone is of great value. Let us love with great love!!!




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