Today's devotion is based on Philemon 1:7-10, where Paul is addressing Philemon concerning his Christian attitude toward the return of his slave. "Your love has given me great joy and encouragement because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord's people. Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus—that I appeal to you."
You can get other people to do things simply by claiming it is the right thing to do. And you can get them to stop doing things simply by claiming that it is the wrong thing to do. That way of approaching life is called law motivation. You don't have to be Christian to think and act that way. It's a natural way of thinking.
Christians have different motivations for how they think and act. They appeal to one another based on love. In today's Bible reading, Paul appeals to his friend, Philemon, to do the right thing not simply because it's right but because of love.
It's how God appeals to you. You don't have to be good to go to heaven. It's Jesus' perfect goodness that is getting you there. So why be good? God appeals to you based on love. Because you love him, learn what is right. Because you love him, do what is right and refrain from doing wrong. You love because he first loved you.
Please pray with me; Loving Lord, move my heart to show my love for you by doing what is right. In your name, I pray. Amen.