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Devotional Thought: We Need Each Other!

“Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy, our brother. To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker, to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier and to the church that meets in your home.” (Philemon 1-2)

Once when boarding a flight, the line stopped outside the pilot’s cabin. I could hear him talking on the radio with the tower, ground crew, and flight attendants. He asked about flight patterns, plane status, and passengers. He had two things on his mind; landing safely on the other side/staying on schedule.

Flying an airplane requires mutual cooperation. The tower, ground staff, and flight crew give important feedback to the pilot. He can’t do his job without them.

As we sit in the cockpit of our own lives, we also need the assistance of others to live lives that please Christ. We need important feedback from those we trust. In this passage, Paul demonstrated this truth for Philemon!

We don’t see it in the text until we read the entire letter. Philemon had a servant named Onesimus who stole from him and ran away. During his escape, Onesimus encountered Paul’s ministry, was saved, and became part of the ministry team. As time passed, Paul decided it was good for Onesimus to return to Philemon and work things out between them.​

Paul knew Philemon might struggle as he attempted to reconcile with Onesimus. To help him embrace holy attitudes/actions, Paul copied other people in on his letter to Philemon (his wife, pastor, church family). Philemon would need their influence throughout this experience. Was Paul being “pushy” or part of a God-thing?

(Tokyo Tourist) “Throngs of people were rushing into the crowded cars and I was among the last to enter. As I did, I felt a shove against my back. I turned quickly expecting to see a rude passenger trying to push me out of the way. Instead, I saw a uniformed attendant called an Oshiya, whose job it was to push people into the car just before the doors close.”

Oshiyas (translated “Pushers”) assist passengers as they board Tokyo’s crowded trains. They clear the doorways of bags, clothing, and even the occasional human appendage that becomes stuck in the doors as they close around them. Were it not for the “pushers”, many commuters would have to wait for the next train and risk not making their destination on time or at all. (

Sometimes we all need a little “push” to move forward when we don’t have strength or motivation to do so on our own. Hopefully, you have people in your life who care enough to lovingly influence (push) you toward that which is right/good. I hope you do this for others, as well.

Please consider those who serve you at NBC in this light. Part of our role is to watch your back and help you stay on track. Our occasional “push” is given for your success so you arrive at your educational destination safely and on time.

Rev. Will Mackey
Adjunct faculty & Director of Enrollment Management

Filed Under: Blog Published: 08/27/2018

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