Today’s Scripture: Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. 10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: 11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me: Philemon 1:9-11

Would you trust a runaway slave to deliver a letter of great importance and minister to a congregation? Most of us would quickly answer, “No!” Without giving it a second thought, we would have counted Onesimus incapable of being an effective servant for the Lord.

However, Paul trusted him. Rather than discounting Onesimus’ usefulness because he had run away from his master, Paul saw past his lowly station and mistakes. He saw a new believer who was ready and willing to serve. He had the right motives. He gave him the opportunity to make things right with his master and make a difference for the Lord.

Like Onesimus, we have all made mistakes. But we cannot allow our past failures to weigh us down. Instead, we need to deal with them and move on. God’s Word illustrates through the example of Onesimus that our past should not take away from the present good we can do for Him.

Whether you have run away from your responsibilities as a parent or have failed to uphold your testimony, do not wallow in the past. Make things right and go on. Decide right now to allow the Lord to use you in whatever way He can. He is your Master. Don’t run away and serve sin. Let God’s power set you free to serve Him with joy.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder