For Christ’s Sake, Do Your Brother Well

“Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellow laborer, and to beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house: grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, hearing of your love and faith, which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; that the communication of your faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.  For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by you, brother.
Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin you that which is convenient, yet for love’s sake I rather beseech, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.  I beseech you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: which in time past was to you unprofitable, but now profitable to you and to me: whom I have sent again: you therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels: whom I would have retained with me, that in your stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel: but without your mind would I do nothing; that your benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.  For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that you should receive him for ever; not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto you, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?
If you count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself.  If he has wronged you, or owes anything, put that on my account; I Paul have written with mine own hand, I will repay, because I do not say to you, how you owe unto me even your own self besides.  Yea, brother, let me have joy of you in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.  Having confidence in your obedience I wrote unto you, knowing that you will also do more than I say. But immediately prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.
There, you salute Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus; Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellow laborers.  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.” Philemon 1:1-25

REFERENCES: Ephesians 1:2; 3:1; 2 Corinthians 7:13; 9:7; 1 Corinthians 4:15; 16:17; Colossians 4:9; Genesis 45:5

Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day One Hundred Eighty and Six

Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.” Matthew 5:23-26 (KJV)

There are many who profess to be Christian, yet hold grudges, are angry at other brethren, and seek to do harm by gossip, or wish them harm.  By the words of Jesus above we are to do what it takes to make things right.

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to want what is good and right for my brother or sister in Christ; to do them good at all times, and not evil; nor to wish evil upon them or even upon those who might seek to do harm to family or myself.

Lord,  help me always to pray for my brethren, my neighbor and any who may despise me; and seek to do them good always.

Christmas Day Two Hundred and Sixteen

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to love what God loves, and to hate what God hates.

I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.” Amos 5:21 (KJV)

“But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” 1 John 2:5-6

“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love Him, because He first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from Him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” 1 John 4:17-21

Words for Christian Living – Deal With It

“I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.”  1 Corinthians 5:9-13 (KJV)

We hear much about love.  “God is love” we hear; and we forget that there are things God hates.  Yes! God is love.  We are not to love “Love” but God.  The Corinthian Christians above loved the fact that they were loving a man who was in an adulterous life with his “Father’s wife”; and doing nothing about it.

Paul says they are to separate from him, “Not to keep company” and this is with one who calls themselves a “Brother”.  “With such an one no not to eat.”  How are folks who are wrapped up by sin going to get back into fellowship with God if they are not confronted about their sin.

Yes!  We all have sin we must deal with.  The case above is one that was not dealing with it.  Sin in the Church will bring God’s judgment upon it.  Deal with it.

-Tim A. Blankenship

When We are Gathered as One

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.  But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.  And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.  Verily I say unto you, ‘Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’  Again I say unto you, ‘That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.”  Matthew 18:15-20 (KJV)

Only those who are in Christ can be one, as we join together in His Spirit and in His Word.  That means we are walking with God, and are in agreement with Him.  As individual Christians we may not always agree with one another, but we must agree with the Living and written Word He has sent us.  When we agree with His Word, and practice it; in faith and forgiveness; then we will be at peace with Him and one another.

-T.A.