Friday, November 15, 2013


Suggested Reading: Philemon

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).


Items displayed in an Israeli museum from the Roman occupation time period. Some of these items may have been used by a slave in serving his master. Slavery was a common social practice in the time of today's reading.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.


Key Verses: Philemon 15-16

For perhaps he departed for a while for this purpose, that you might receive him forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave — a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.


This was written as a personal letter in Paul’s own handwriting, a one-to-one letter to his friend Philemon whom he led to Christ several years before (19b). The letter had to do with a runaway slave named Onesimus, who had belonged to Philemon, perhaps before Philemon had become a believer in Jesus Christ. Now, Paul has found Onesimus in Rome and led him to receive Jesus as his Saviour and Lord.

The content of this short letter reveals that Paul had a great love for each of these men, master and slave. He knows that the love of Jesus, which changes everything, will alter their relationship forever. They are now linked in the Holy Spirit as true brothers! We learn from this letter that God’s love in Christ is the only means whereby we find true freedom, ultimate respect for each other, and genuine love! In another letter, not to an individual but to us all, Paul writes, “In lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (Philippians 2:3b). This is truly revolutionary!!!


Father God, I thank You for Jesus, Your Son and my Saviour and Lord! He, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, is continuing the revolution in my life. I pray for grace to love others as Paul loved Philemon and Onesimus. I know that this is only possible by Your indwelling Holy Spirit. Fill me again, Holy Spirit, with the love of God, I pray fervently in the Name of the Person who loved all of us with a perfect love, Jesus Christ. Amen!!!


Paul’s personal letter to Philemon has inspired me throughout the 50+ years of television ministry. The highest number of personal letters I wrote in any one day was 50. Most days I would average 10 letters. I would record them on what was called a dictaphone, and my secretary, Valerie James Battaglia (now these indispensable people are called assistants), would transcribe them; I would sign them, and then they would be mailed. For some of my letters she would take shorthand and then type them. Ron just calculated for me what may be true, that I’ve written over 100,000 personal letters through the years. Just to think of this makes me feel tired, but It also makes me feel very much fulfilled. One personal letter, the memory of which I cherish, was in answer to a 14-year-old boy named David Boyd from St. Catherines, Ontario. David wrote to me in the late sixties asking for our Crossroads Bible Correspondence Course, which we used to offer to new believers. I remember marking his examination paper and giving him 100%. Later, after years of study and ordination as a minister, he became Dean of Men at the Bible College from which I had graduated in 1959. He helped found a Bible College here in Israel, and much more. I’m typing this on day 3 of my 2013 visit to Israel. God willing, we’ll do this tour again next November! Why not join us for the trip of a lifetime? I’d love to spend two weeks with my fellow bloggers!

Yours for the joy of personal letters, phone calls, e-mails, texts, etc.,


P.S. I hope to place here pictures of our big family of tour members over the next two weeks. Here, in front of the world’s oldest city gate through which one can still walk, is a gate in the wall of a 4,000-year-old Canaanite city, Ashkelon. It dates to the time of Abraham. Here are 9 of our 100 members. From left to right, Lori from Penticton, B.C. – Pauline from Toronto, On. – Cleo from Ottawa, On. – Jean and Daniel from Ottawa, On. – Doug from Haliburton, On., – Allyn from Lethbridge, Alberta, – Ray and Janine from Sault Ste. Marie, On.

34 thoughts on “Friday, November 15, 2013

  1. Lord God, build into us a deep and abiding love for Your Word and for all people that by Your grace, we might be an integral influence for the gospel in the lives of others. May the Holy Spirit teach us wisdom and lead us into the ways that are just and right that we might not fall into error. Strengthen us Holy Spirit, inspire us, give us a refreshing and an even brighter vision of what You would have us do with our lives for the Kingdom’s glory. In all we do, may we reflect Your love, kindness, compassion and care, this day and always. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  2. Oh, David Mainse!! This is perhaps my favourite post, to date–thank you! Of course, Paul, is my favourite, so it is no surprise that his flavour runs through your entire message. It is evident to see how God’s grace has worked through you by the letters you have written. Praise God!! David Boyd is a wonderful example!! To think of all the lives you have touched and brought to Christ, in the same way Paul has–it is all for God’s glory!!

    Your prayer, today, David, speaks to my heart. I pray that it uplifts as many fellow saints around the world, touched by the blessing of your blog, as it has for me. Thank you, God!!!

    “In lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.” Philippians 2:3b Amen, amen, and amen!

    Blessings, fellow saints, and to everyone on the trip in Israel!

  3. Brother Slave! Amazing how sweet those words hit my heart. Persecuted for Jesus’ sake, Christians, though once servants of sin and free from righteousness, we are now servants of God and free from sin (Romans 6).

  4. Oh, David you have lifted my spirit today as Paul lifted the spirit of Onesimus, first by leading him to Christ then pleading his status with Philemon. I have been a delighted recepient of your letters in response to mine when my parents passed away. Thank you again, and I must reread them. David Boyd is a wonderful brother in the Lord and fellow alumni at E.P.B.C. and have a photo of us at the Bible School he helped establish in Jerusalem. Thanks again for the invite to your tour to Israel with all my fellow bloggers. Blessings everyone!

  5. It is such an encouragement and inspiration when others have placed their confidence and prayers in ones life, and to return this sentiment and faith in another. People like Paul and you, David, who genuinely see and believe the best in others. Such an uplifting photograph of those touring. Somehow, I “wish” all readers and bloggers could be together for one big photo as well:-)
    but know it’s not possible. We are connected by spirit and following this wonderful blog! Have an inspirational and educational experience in Israel and a great day, to all bloggers!

  6. I am sure, as Paul was a great influence in the life of Onesimus and Philemon, we can all think of a special person who impacted us for Jesus.
    You Pastor David , my blog buddies and this daily blog enriches my life and fills me with JOY. Thank you everyone.

    I pray those on the trip have wonderful fellowship together and thank you for the invite to join you, God willing, next Nov.

    Brenda, how is your son-in-law Scot?

    Blessings to all my saintly happy bloggers.

  7. Letters of encouragement are SO valuable. May we each respond to the Holy Spirit’s prompting….and trust Him to give us the words that someone needs to hear….and write! So many times people say they come at just the right time too.

  8. I am in agreement with your prayer, Scott and prayed it along with my husband in our devotional time today.
    So enjoy this blog David, and your dedication to your fellow brothers and sisters.
    May you all be blessed on your trip.
    Have a wonderful day, everyone.

    • I am so touched Charlene. It is truly only through the working of the Holy Spirit that these words have power. Thank you all for your kind words today and every day! Blessings.

  9. Wow! How I truely wish I was part of this team:) May God be praised ! Enjoy the rest of your stay and may the grace and goodness of God never depart from you all…Amen!

  10. To David and Norma-Jean
    Your pictures and comments remind me of the “Journey of Hope” trip to Israel I went on with you and David Demian in 2001…there were 10 buses and 50 people in each bus…A special memory for me.

    God Bless you both and Anne and Ron as well as your walk with the group you are with now


  11. It has been a long and exhausting day. Every solution to a particular problem fail, every hope I had that each fix would be the last — dash. The so call experts were no help– I looked for understanding and all I got blame for a problem I didn’t even create,but have been trying to solve for three days now– I am tired and discouraged by stress and all I want is a hug but there is no one with arms to hold me.
    Jesus feels like a million miles away, even though I am certain he is as close to me as my next heart beat, but I cannot sense that at the moment. So, in order not to allow the enemy to work in this dark moment to wear me down even more, I am exposing this moment to the light, to you my brothers and sisters in Christ, so the darkness does not get foot hold to torment with lies
    I want to rest tonight, knowing tomorrow is a new day, with new hope, with new possibilities, and the Lord has a solution that will be reveal at the right moment— I just have to wait, and not let the false evidence now before my eyes deceive me into forgetting who God is and in whom I can trust.

  12. Think of Job Donna, and believe that God allows everything to happen for a reason:) tomorrow will surly be a new day and a new start by His grace:) Just thank Him for the day gone by, because even though you may not see any good in such a stressful day now, He will make it known to you at the perfect time:) Hold on, Hold strong, take a deep breath and allow His perfect Will be done in your life my dear:) God bless you and big hugs from me to you

  13. The wolf dresses like grandma then gets a lost sheep to be a decoy to attract help to the lost sheep and then tries to lead the helper astray.

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