On Becoming Useful

When reading Philemon this morning something came to light:

We are the runaway useless slaves like Onesimus in Philemon who desperately need to be instructed by the apostle Paul to become useful.

Oftentimes we want to put ourselves in the position of the hero (Paul), but I truly think we would do better (at least here) to look at the story of Onesimus (name means “Useful”) from the vantage point that we are like that with God—runaways. We run from God our whole lives until he captures us by his grace.

Astoundingly, he doesn’t capture us by chasing us down. Rather, God captures us by his sovereignty over all of life. He put Paul in prison and Onesimus happened to end up there with him and got discipled! There is absolutely no circumstance we can be in that God has not orchestrated to either help someone else or to be helped greatly toward God.

God does not capture us like in a chase but by what we may at first suspect as coincidence. So, I think about it this way: we are where we are either to be a help, but most likely to be helped. We are where we are to learn from the apostle Paul what we need to become useful.

Dear Lord, please make us useful. Thank you for your sovereign plan to lead me to where I am today to learn from the apostle so that would happen. In Jesus's Name, Amen.

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