Read: Philemon 1:4-7

What does it say?
Paul gives thanks for Philemon and his ministry.

What does it mean?
Paul often writes prayers of thanksgiving in his letters. Paul understood the weight that comes with leading and providing for a church. Philemon’s faithfulness in providing a space for the church to meet may have been accompanied by personal and financial sacrifice. Furthermore, Philemon had a significant spiritual influence in the church by “refreshing the hearts of the saints” (Philemon 1:7). Paul’s thankfulness flowed out of recognizing that spiritual leadership is hard, and Philemon was faithful to follow Jesus with both his material and relational resources.

How do I respond?
Take some time today to thank a spiritual leader in your life. Maybe God blessed you with parents or grandparents who were influential in cultivating the gospel early on. Maybe a key pastor or ministry leader discipled or encouraged you in a dark and difficult season. Pray to God, giving thanks to Him because of them. Then, take some time to reach out to them today. Like Paul with Philemon, a simple text or short call can mean a world of encouragement to them.

We would like to thank Thomas Road Baptist Church for providing this plan.