ESV Text: Philemon
1:1 Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon our beloved fellow worker 2 and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house:
3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Philemon’s Love and Faith
4 I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, 5 because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, 6 and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.1 7 For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.
Paul’s Plea for Onesimus
8 Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, 9 yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus—10 I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus,2 whose father I became in my imprisonment. 11 (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) 12 I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. 13 I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, 14 but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord. 15 For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, 16 no longer as a bondservant3 but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
17 So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. 18 If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. 20 Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ.
21 Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you.
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, 24 and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.
25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
 1:6 Or for Christ’s service
 1:10 Onesimus means useful (see verse 11) or beneficial (see verse 20)
Hymn: TLH 399 :
Thee Will I Love, my Strength
1. Thee will I love, my Strength, my Tower;
Thee will I love, my Hope, my Joy;
Thee will I love with all my power,
With ardor time shall ne’er destroy.
Thee will I love, O Light Divine,
So long as life is mine.
2. Thee will I love, my Life, my Savior,
Who art my best and truest Friend;
Thee will I love and praise forever,
For never shall Thy kindness end;
Thee will I love with all my heart,
Thou my Redeemer art.
3. I thank Thee, Jesus, Sun from heaven,
Whose radiance hath bro’t light to me;
I thank Thee, who hast richly given
All that could make me glad and free;
I thank Thee that my soul is healed
By what Thy lips revealed.
4. Oh, keep me watchful, then, and humble
And suffer me no more to stray;
Uphold me when my feet would stumble,
Nor let me loiter by the way.
Fill all my nature with Thy light,
O Radiance strong and bright!
5. Oh, teach me, Lord, to love Thee truly
With soul and body, head and heart,
And grant me grace that I may duly
Practice fore’er love’s sacred art.
Grant that my every thought may be
Directed e’er to Thee.
6. Thee will I love, my Crown of gladness;
Thee will I love, my God and Lord,
Amid the darkest depths of sadness,
Not for the hope of high reward–
For Thine own sake, O Light Divine,
So long as life is mine.