“What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Mic. 6:8 NIV)
“More than sacrifice or offerings, God desires these three things from us. The solution Paul sought in the conflict between Philemon and his fugitive slave, Onesimus, met all these requirements:
- Paul acted justly! Onesimus had run away from his legal owner and possibly had stolen from him. In Paul’s estimation the restoration of two Christian men was priority. Paul insisted that Onesimus take responsibility for wrong-doing, yet Paul took on the debt (vs. 18)
- Paul loved mercy! He lived the concepts he taught! Paul didn’t just preach to him about the mercy of God, he showed it to him. He took Onesimum’s debt not only out of justice but also out of mercy, because a sinner needed grace! Both Christ and Paul concentrated on getting people into a right relationship with God! Paul told Philemon he was returning Onesimus to him “no longer as a slave, but more than a slave – as a dear loved brother.” (vs. 16) Paul’s proposal was to let mercy reign!
- Paul walked humbly with God! The closer we draw near to God and the more we behold His majesty, the more we relate to the psalmist who said, “What is man that you are mindful of him?” (Ps. 8:4) Like the psalmist, Paul recognized the pit from which God had pulled him.”
“The hollowness of works without love becomes evident to all who seek to serve God. We cannot serve God wholeheartedly without the whole heart.
Hollowness can follow us anywhere until we bridge the gulf with grace!
Paul, 90 Days on His Journey of Faith / Beth Moore / B & H Publishing