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Read Philemon 8-16.

Onesimus was Philemon’s runaway slave that encountered Paul in prison and was transformed from a thieving servant to a co-laborer for the gospel. Paul’s appeal to Philemon asks him to forgive Onesimus and receive him as a brother in Christ.

The name Onesimus carries the connotation of “useful” or “profitable.” Paul emphasizes that before finding forgiveness in Christ, Onesimus was a useless servant, but after choosing to follow Christ he became a useful vessel for the gospel message.

My testimony echoes Onesimus’ story. I sought my own interests and was absolutely useless to others. After experiencing the love and forgiveness of God through Jesus, my life dramatically changed. I learned how to be a useful brother in Christ and co-laborer for the gospel. My transformation was the catalyst for a life-long journey toward my work in Russia. My hope is to be useful to the Great Commission of Christ all the days of my life.

Lord, we praise You for making useless things useful to Your Kingdom work. Continue using us for Your Great Commission all the days of our lives. Amen.

-from a missionary to Russia