November 26 - Aspects of Forgiveness
Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.
This Sunday Bryan Launer will continue the class on Understanding the Heart in the youth room at 10:00am. This class explores what Scripture says about the heart, why it's so important, and how you can better understand your own heart and help others. Ray Rutledge and Bo Pritchard will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project (currently going through the New Testament).
17 So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. 18 If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. 20 Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ.
21 Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 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.
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, 24 and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.
25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
We are at the close of this personal letter of Paul to Philemon. Paul is appealing to Philemon to reconcile with his wayward servant Onesimus. Paul is sending Onesimus, who had recently been converted to the gospel, with the letter seeking reconciliation. In this letter, Paul calls for Philemon to receive him as he would receive Paul since Onesimus is no longer a slave but a brother. Would the gospel be enough for this reconciliation to happen? In this final portion we find four aspects of forgiveness that reconciles fractured relationships. Please consider the promises and power of the gospel to change us and reconcile us to each other.
Review and Apply
Explain what it means to be a partner in the gospel.
How does the gospel call us to 'receive/accept' one another after a conflict?
Think of an unreconciled conflict in your life. What will it cost to reconcile it? Are you willing to pay? Why or why not?
What kind of refreshment comes as brothers and sisters reconcile?
How can the community of faith help in resolving conflicts?
How is God reflected in a church that practices forgiveness and reconciliation?