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He has value! These words caught Onesimus attention as he stretched to hear more of the conversation between the Apostle Paul and Philemon. “Restore him, and receive him as you would me, all that he has done, forgive and I will replenish all your losses.” Philemon was taken back at these words, the Apostle Paul expressed a love that was impractical.
“He is mine, he has a debt to repay me! What he did was wrong! Running away has only increased his debt and extended his punishment,” Philemon was indignant. “Remember where I found you? Helpless and lost seeking a second chance. Starving and looking for shelter you had stolen some bread and you were caught, judgment was imminent – but I stood in your place, I paid your penalty and made you mine; Do you remember?” Philemon began to breath slower, his anger subsided. He remembered where he had come from, it was a humiliating place. “For Love’s Sake let him go, release him as an offering to the Lord.” Philemon nodded and embraced Paul, he owed this man his life.
Timidly, Onesimus moved towards Philemon his master. Philemon looked squarely at Onesimus and his countenance was made soft from the impact of the Apostle Paul’s words – “You are the Lord’s free man, your debt to me is paid in full.”
Hold on to things loosely so you can always give them back to the Lord.