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“So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me.  If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account” (Philemon 1:17-18).

Paul is trusting Philemon to do what is right in the sight of the Lord.  Listen carefully to what Paul is teaching us.  At the end of the day, the other will do what they do.  Just because someone has received the Gospel does not mean they will live it.  The church is filled with those who are both faithful and those who go back on their word.  Trust the Lord, but verify others who claim faith.

Yes, it is okay to trust and verify.  Somehow or other, many Christians believe that other Christians are sinless.  They are not.  We live in the reality that we all need Christ and what He alone can do.  Come then, learn the lesson and be one like whom Paul trusts to do the right thing.  Charge everything to the account of grace, but still be prudent and a good steward of these things.

Lord Jesus, You are growing me up to be a child of the Father.  There are many facets of grace and the depth of faith is never-ending, just as the breadth of the reality of who You are is never-ending.  Guide me, Lord, that I would not simply rest in the faith I have obtained by grace but continue to grow in the knowledge of who You are.  Lead me in the mysteries of the faith such that I become Your trustworthy servant in living out the Gospel.  Amen.

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