RECONCILED THROUGH CHRIST
Know: Paul appealed to Philemon to welcome back Philemon’s former slave (Onesimus) who had run away. Paul had led Onesimus to Christ and was sending him back to Philemon as a brother in Christ.
Think: I will forgive and reconcile with others as Christ has forgiven and reconciled with me.
Do: Forgive and reconcile people with whom you are at odds.
READ: LISTEN TO GOD
Read Philemon 1:1-22. Philemon had a way of refreshing the hearts of fellow believers, even the apostle Paul. Still, all was not peaceful in his household: Onesimus, a slave, ran away, met Paul in Rome, and came to faith in Christ. It was time for something beyond mere refreshing—Christian reconciliation with Philemon.
PRAY: TALK TO GOD
Be willing to forgive a brother or sister in Christ who has wronged you. Pray that you and your family will be able to forgive those around you, remembering all the times that others and Jesus have had to forgive you.
DO: WALK WITH GOD
OPTION 1: It is sometimes hard for us to forgive others. During those times, we should remember the many times God has forgiven us for much worse. Read together Shel Silverstein’s poem, “Sarah Cynthia Silvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out.” Continuing to carry around a grudge because of an unforgiving spirit is like never taking out the garbage. Talk with your child about a time when you had to forgive someone who had wronged you. Was it easy or hard? What was their response? Ask him if if there is someone right now he needs to find the compassion to forgive. Remind him that it is important for us to model Christ especially when it comes to forgiveness.
OPTION 2: I may forgive, but I never forget! Ask your family to comment on this statement, or something similar to it. What other attitudes typically go along with it? How workable is it as a Christian response?
Today your child learned King Herod did not want John preaching about Jesus. But John continued to obey God. Jesus told the people how John was a great messenger of God and led by example. John the Baptist made the right choice to obey God. I Can Learn About Jesus and learn to obey God.
The Bible gives us examples of others, including Jesus, who demonstrated forgiveness. Because Jesus forgives us we can forgive others. Your student was encouraged to use the five biblical truths studied in class this month to help him or her forgive.
Philemon has been called Paul’s “postcard.” It focused on forgiveness and reconciliation as Paul pled for Onesimus, a runaway slave, to be well-received as he returned to his master. Help your teen to turn loose of his or her grudges and encourage forgiveness. A teen who learns compassion instead of anger and bitterness will be happier and healthier. We can and must forgive others because Christ has forgiven us.