by Rev Jason Phua
Bible Readings: Philemon 1:1-25; Psalms 101:1-8
READ (Verse chosen for reflection)
Philemon 1:10-11 “I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment.”
I am always encouraged by the passion and conviction the Apostle Paul had for one-on-one discipleship. Despite his missionary journeys, setting up churches, equipping leaders of these churches and enduring persecutions from the authorities, he spent time to mentor and guide many individuals. Onesimus was one such individual and here, the Apostle appealed to his former master to receive him like a brother in Christ. Paul even asked of Philemon to charge to his account; anything that Onesimus might have wronged or owed. This showed the depth of Paul’s relationship with Onesimus and Philemon.
Just a few days ago, I was talking to a friend about how pastors these days need to learn how to handle a wide scope of things. Gone are the days when pastors can just focus on preaching the Word, mentoring and pastoral care. Now many of us have to oversee ministries and lead in committees. Hence, the time for one-on-one discipleship becomes challenging. Yet, both of us agreed that no matter how “macro” our work has become, we should still make it our priority to get “onto the ground” and do discipleship the organic way. This is so we can continue to learn to love people and keep in step with what is truly happening in the life of others.
Help me O Lord, to out first things first and not let the demands of the world dictate what I should do. Amen.