ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 217



PHILEMON
This letter is from Paul, a prisoner for preaching the Good News about
Christ Jesus, and from our brother Timothy.
I am writing to Philemon, our beloved co-worker, and to our sister ­Apphia,
and to our fellow soldier Archippus, and to the church that meets in your
house.
May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
I always thank my God when I pray for you, Philemon, because I keep
­hearing about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God’s
people. And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that
comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good
things we have in Christ. Your love has given me much joy and comfort,
my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s
people.
That is why I am boldly asking a favor of you. I could demand it in the
name of Christ because it is the right thing for you to do. But because
of our love, I prefer simply to ask you. Consider this as a request from
me—Paul, an old man and now also a prisoner for the sake of Christ Jesus.
I appeal to you to show kindness to my child, Onesimus. I became his
father in the faith while here in prison. Onesimus hasn’t been of much use
to you in the past, but now he is very useful to both of us. I am sending him
back to you, and with him comes my own heart.
I wanted to keep him here with me while I am in these chains for preaching the Good News, and he would have helped me on your behalf. But I
didn’t want to do anything without your consent. I wanted you to help
because you were willing, not because you were forced. It seems you lost
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