1. From Paul, imprisoned for proclaiming the message of a shared life with Jesus, and from Timothy, to our beloved friend and co-worker, Philemon.

2. Send our love also to Apphia and Archippus our fellow freedom fighter, and the others in the church in your house.

3. We pray for the generous goodness and peace of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ to be with you.

4. I always include you in my prayers and thank God for you.

5. I keep hearing of your faith and of the love you have in the Lord Jesus, and the way it gets expressed in your life towards our brothers and sisters in Christ.

6. And I pray that as you share your faith the way you do, the goodness and love of Jesus in and through your life will be on display to be seen and heard by all.

7. It has been such a joy and encouragement for me to see your love in action like this, and the way it has moved the hearts and refreshed the souls of those there in the church.

8. So while I know I could have obliged you in the name of Jesus to do something special for me that I regard as being very important

9. I would rather gently appeal to you in the name of the love we have for each other, me, good old Paul, in prison because of our love for Jesus.

10. I am asking for a special favor for Onesimus, who has become a spiritual son to me, being converted during my imprisonment here

11. Once he was a liability to you, Onesimus the useless, but now he can be a wonderful asset to both of us.

12. I am sending him to you and I want you to welcome him as if it was me coming to you myself.

13. I would have liked to kept him with me to care for me on your behalf as I proclaimed the gospel from prison,

14. But I don’t want to presume upon you for anything, because if you are to do anything for me I want you to be free to think it over and make up your own mind.

15. It is possible that he escaped your custody temporarily just so that you might have him back with you permanently.

16. Though not as a servant anymore, but as a dear brother, a brother that I love, and a brother that will certainly now be able to do more for you, both practically and in the Lord, than what he can do for me.

17. So if you still see me as a companion in the work of God, welcome him as if he were me.

18. If he owes you anything, or has caused any damage in the past, charge it up to me

19. I’m authorizing this with my own written signature and I will make it good, even though if the truth be known, you owe your very life to me.

20. Come on my brother, cheer me up in this matter and bless my soul in the Lord.

21. I always knew you would do this for me, and that is why I wrote to like this, knowing that you would actually want to do even more for me than I have asked.

22. And by the way would you mind organizing some accommodation for me also, because I know you have been praying that I would come and visit you.

23. Epaphras, a fellow prisoner here with me in the Lord says to say hello,

24. Along with my other friends, Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, and Lucas, all prisoners as well.

25. May the loving goodness of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen

Philemon ChapterOne

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