Friday, December 31, 2010

What is Your Testimony? Philemon 1:1-7

What is Your Testimony? Philemon 1:1-7
 1 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
   To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker2 also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home:
 3 Grace and peace to you[a] from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
 4 I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, 5 because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. 6 I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. 7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.
Noyo Edem’s Notes:
Let us take some time to reflect on Paul’s testimony about Philemon’s ministry in the vineyard of the Lord. Philemon was a dedicated worker who demonstrated his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ through his love and selfless service to the church. Our love for God and His Son, Jesus Christ should motivate us to love our brothers; to be compassionate to them and to want to serve them.
Let us reflect on our activities in the vineyard of God, and think about what our fellow brethrens will say about us. Will their testimonies about us be like the testimony the church gave Paul about Philemon? Have members of our church seen our love for them? Have we demonstrated our faith in Jesus Christ before the brethren? Have we been believers that use our talents to build the church and uplift our members? Have we been agents of Satan in the church to cause problems and disunite the body of Christ?
What does each of us bring to the church? We go to church for different reasons and that is why there is confusion and strife in the church. Some people are there to make business connections and these people are not interested in their spiritual growth, neither are they interested in the spiritual growth of their brethrens. Some people are in church as onlookers who have come to witness what they have heard about Christians. The good thing about these spectators is that some of them hear the word of God, receive it and believe in it and they become saved.
We need some spectators in the church, because we do not know when a spectator will become saved. Romans 10:17 says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
Some members of the congregation are agents of Satan set in the church to cause confusion. The church needs to identify these agents and overcome their satanic influences in the church. The church needs to pray to the Holy Spirit for the gift of discernment to know who these people are in each congregation. They come as agents of light, but are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Some of these people occupy high positions in the church and give wrong counsels. We do not need to associate with this last group of church goers, because they are destructive agents in the church. The Bible says “the Kingdom of God suffers violence and the men of violence take it by force.”
We can take back the Kingdom of God from these men of violence in our midst, if we are able to identify them. This is where we need the true worshipers of God, men like Philemon who have faith in Jesus Christ and have love enough for their brothers to be motivated to lift up the banner of Christ and also lift up a standard against the Kingdom of darkness.  There must be a spiritual warfare to reclaim that we truly belongs to God’s children. The children of God, who know their God and understand their positions in the church, will be the ones to fight this warfare to reclaim the Kingdom from the men of violence.
There is no fear and timidity in the Kingdom of God. As a child of God, you must know your relationship with God, and understand that God has given you everything you need to live victoriously in this world and to prosper His Kingdom.
Are you ready to demonstrate your faith in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ in the New Year? Are you ready to allow God to make you a channel of His peace?
Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”  —Rev. 3:20.

Lyrics: Psalm 108:5
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and let your glory be over all the earth.
Prayer: Our Father
Our Father, Who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Be encouraged in the Lord.
Mrs. Noyo Edem