MISSION WOODS CHURCH
Worship May 8, 2022
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      • Matthew 5–7ESV

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        2 Cents a Meal Offering

        December 9, 2018 - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        This offering goes towards providing food for those in need. It supports our local foodbank.
      • Bible Trivia
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      • Matthew 5–7ESV

      • Bible Trivia
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      • Download

        2 Cents a Meal Offering

        December 9, 2018 - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        This offering goes towards providing food for those in need. It supports our local foodbank.
  • Holy, Holy, Holy
  • Fairest Lord Jesus
  • In The Garden
  • It Is Well With My Soul
  • The Big Ask

    Happy Mother’s Day again! In watching the news this morning as I was getting ready to come to the church one of the newscasters said that Mothers are often not appreciated in our culture today. Yet in my experience, you will seldom meet someone who would say they don’t appreciate their mother. If you watch sports at all on TV you’ll see these big burly football players waving at the camera and you see their lips move and you can read them so easily. What do they say? “Hi Mom!” Think about that, and I’m willing to bet for most of them it wasn’t mom who taught them football. I’m just saying.
    So as we start off this morning I want to say, “Mom’s we appreciate you.” Interestingly, the people making this comment that mom’s aren’t appreciated, are often women. Men, we gotta do better, we all have to do better at letting our mom’s know they’re appreciated, valued, and truly treasured. And not just mom’s but all the women in our lives.
    This morning we’re going to take a look at a book in the New Testament that speaks of value. It’s a book that doesn’t get a lot of attention. We’re going to look at the book of Philemon.

    Philemon

    Now if you don’t know how to find Philemon, it’s right after all the T’s: 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus (If you didn’t know all the T’s are together in the NT, there are 5 of them); and it’s right before the book of Hebrews.
    It’s a short letter written by Paul to a wealthy slave-holding Christian who lived in the city of Colossae, about 100 miles inland from Ephesus.
    I’m going to have us all read it together, and as Drew is coming forward to lead us in our reading I want to go over with you a few names so that you don’t feel embarrassed about how to pronounce them:
    First, we have Philemon = Fie-Lee-Mun - he is the person to whom this whole letter is addressed.
    The next one we have is Apphia = App-Fee-uh - she is a woman in the church and addressed by Paul. She may have been Philemon’s wife.
    The next one is Archippus = Arch-i-puss, he may have been Philemon’s son and church history hints he may have had a significant ministry in Colossae.
    And finally one that will come up frequently in our reading this morning is Onesimus = Oh-nee-si-mus, is the run away slave now ministering to Paul
    Good, now that we have all of those, let’s review one more time:
    Philemon
    Apphia
    Archippus
    Onesimus
    Good job, I’ll turn it over to Drew, and let’s read it together.
    Philemon 1–25 ESV
    Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved fellow worker and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus— I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment. (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord. For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ. Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you. Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
    WOW! That’s a long passage, good job everyone, and thank you Drew for leading us in that.
    So why put this letter in the Bible? What can we learn from it? How do we apply it?
    So, I’m going to start with the second question first,

    What can we learn from Philemon?

    That’s a great question. There is so much in this letter that can be instructive to us as we deal with relationships in our own lives.
    As we work our way through the letter we note that Paul goes through 5 stages to manage the conflict he now finds himself in with Onesimus.
    The first thing Paul does after a cursory introduction is to compliment Philemon.

    The Compliment Stage (verse 4-7)

    - he gives the positives, reminding him of his love, and affirming him. Paul focuses on the positive qualities.
    The next thing Paul does is concede the reality that Onesimus is indeed a slave.

    The Compromise Stage (vv. 8-13)

    Paul is recognizing his own responsibility for the conflict and recognizing differences between himself and Philemon.
    The third stage as laid out by Paul is

    The Choice Stage (v. 14)

    Paul is seeking out consent from Philemon to send back Onesimus. He laid out the challenge of how difficult it would be for Onesimus to receive him after feeling wronged.
    Which leads to

    The Challenge Stage (vv. 15-20)

    Paul challenges Philemon to do what is right. He committed to steps he’d take to make things right, but issued a challenge to Philemon to respond and take the high road.
    And finally, Paul sandwiches all of this with another positive in

    The Confidence Stage (vv. 21-22)

    where Paul expresses his confidence in Philemon that he would do what was right in the sight of God. Paul voices that he believes the best about his friend and communicates again his love for him.
    *These 5 stages come from The Maxwell Leadership Bible with Notes and Articles by John C. Maxwell.

    How Do We Apply This?

    The Application is clear, its really an expansion of the Sandwich method of correction used in a lot of teaching formats today. That is that we sandwich a correction between two positives. It also demonstrates the importance of owning your own part in conflict with others.
    5 Stages:
    Compliment
    Compromise
    Choice
    Challenge
    Confidence

    Why Preserve This Letter in the Bible?

    This is a great question, and the reason that it is in the Bible is it worked. According to F.F. Bruce,
    “Not only because it accomplished its purpose so far as Philemon was concerned, but also because Onesimus treasured it as his charter of liberty. And there is much to be said for the view that Onesimus did not remain a private Christian, but became in due course one of the most important figures in the life of the province of Asia - bishop of Ephesus no less.”
    p. 406 PAUL: Apostle of the Heart Set Free, F.F. Bruce ©1977.

    The Big Ask

    As we celebrate Mother’s Day today, we all recognize that there are many big asks we do in life. Let’s appreciate our Moms - all of them biological otherwise. Think of all the women in our life who have guided us, nurtured us, encouraged us, consoled us, and so much more. Let’s make sure they’re appreciated, and if there are conflicts, perhaps Paul’s letter to Philemon can help us to resolve those too.
    To God be the glory.
    Amen.
      • Philemon 1–25ESV

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