The Man Rejected is the Man Who is Changed

Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good— no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord.” Philemon 1:15-16

The Story

I was a slave.  So I ran.  I grew tired of the long hours.  I couldn’t take the busy days any longer.  I grew tired of the boss, the people, and the place itself.  What did they know about me anyway?  I made the choice.  I know I justified my actions but I know what is best for my life.  I know what I should be doing.  I thought to myself, “There had to be something better.  There had to be something more.”

So I ran.

I ran because that’s the only thing that seemed right at the time.  The more I ran, the more hardships came.  The faster I ran, the more problems I encountered.  So I ran another direction only to find more hardships, more problems, more trouble.  I struggled inside.  What was I doing?  I thought I knew what to do so well.  I started to panic.  I thought, “Life wasn’t as bad back where I came from.”  I was divided.  Torn apart.  I was broken.  What could I do?  I did the only thing I knew because I had been doing it for so long.

I ran some more.

In my run I remembered a guy in prison I knew that might offer some help.  It seemed like a long shot but I went for it.  Was I crazy?  As I ran faster I remembered the man who was being kept in the cold cell.  I remembers him vividly.  My owner spoke to him and about him many times.  I ran faster with everything I had.  I had to see him.  I kept remembering more and more about the time the man, who now sat in a cell, visited my master.  He was different.  Why was he even in jail in the first place?  He looked so harmless.  I thought back to my master.  I remembered the change that took place in him after this man had left.  I remembered how different he was.  This man had to help me.  I ran until my legs burned.

I ran until I could not run anymore.

When I arrived at the prison, I couldn’t hardly breath.  I walked past the prison walls.  I staggered down the stairs.  I placed my tired hands on the bars and as I lifted my head, I saw him.  He was right in front of me.  That was him alright.  He was the one.  He was the guy who changed my masters heart so long ago.  He had to help me.  I opened my mouth to speak but I could not say a word due to all the running.

He read my story as my eyes met his eyes.  He placed his hand on my shoulder through the bars.  He spoke truth into my life.  He answered my questions.  He softened my heart.  He told me about Jesus.  He told me what this Christ did for him on the road to Damascus.  He told me of how this same Jesus, who changed my master, could also change me.  I bowed my head, closes my eyes, and let Jesus take over my life.

No more running.

It’s time to go home.

The Application

Christ frees us from the bonds slavery of sin at the moment we accept Him as Lord and Savior.  In that divine appointment set up by God himself, we fall into the hands of our master once again.  The experience is life changing.  Our sins are gone.  They are  washed away all because Christ paid the penalty for sin on the cross.

We all have to choose.

We are either slaves of sin or slaves of righteousness.

You cannot serve both two masters.

The Questions

  1. Are you living a life controlled by the Spirit or guided by your own desires.  Obedience to the Lord leads to a deeper relationship to Jesus.  A mature Christian surrenders his will to the Spirit.  Are you running from Christ and his commands or longing to go back to Him regardless of the circumstances.  Jesus said, “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” (John 14:21)
  2. How much room are you making in your life right now for God?  While we may say that we are on track, but we often deceive ourselves and compartmentalize our faith putting God in places that we want Him to dwell in.  We often fail to place Christ in areas of our life where we need Him the most.  If you’re obeying God, prepare more room for Him in your heart and in your life.  John 14:23 says,  “Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

Think about it.

-jordan

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