#3 - Love

Tuesday 31 Oct, 2023

We live in a world that is obsessed with love. Wet Wet Wet sang that Love is all around, The Bee Gees sang how deep is your love, Whitney Houston sang I will always love you and Meat Loaf said “I would do anything for Love (But I won’t do that).

Our world is obsessed with love, the songs we listen to, the conversations we have, the movies we watch. Love is a big theme, it’s something we chase after and something we want.

But love is also something that is massively misunderstood. People can think of love as a fuzzy feeling that’s there one second and gone the next. We use the word so flippantly that it seems to have lost all its meaning. We say things like “I love burgers” or “I love that jacket on you” or “I love that shade of blue” We say we love friends when putting down the phone, we say we love our spouses and we say we love God. But the way we use the word, and how often we use it shows that we don’t really understand what love is.

We can’t properly know what love is, until we know God.

So it is no surprise then that one of the key characteristics that Paul mentions a couple of times in his very brief letter to Philemon is love.

One of the defining characteristics of Philemon’s life is love, as it will be in the life of every Christian. Notice how Philemon’s love is lived out in v4-7: his faith in Christ is rooted in his love for Christ and that is expressed in a love for all of God’s people (saints v5). This love for the Lord’s people is something that Philemon obviously acted on because the hearts of Christians around him were refreshed (v7).

But notice that Philemon’s love, which characterises his life, also leads him to sharing his faith (v6). Flowing from our deep love for the Lord, Christians should have a deeper love for and concern for the lost people of this world which should embolden us to share Jesus with a world that is dying without Him.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every single one of us at Ferniehill grew in our love for the Lord, seeking to follow Him as He wants us to, to serve Him in the way that He has equipped us to and to live for His glory? Flowing from that deep love for the Lord we would have a deeper love for the Lord’s people which would lead to us being a more caring church who live life together and help one another in the ups and downs of life.

Love isn’t a fluffy emotion that comes and goes, it is a life changing reality that should impact the way we view the Lord, His Word, His people and the lost. Love should characterise the life of every Christian and it should Spurr us on to be witness of the Lord who loved us first (1 John 4:19).

So as every Christian should be trying to live more like Jesus, as we’ve seen in Philemon, there are three marks of a Christian; Christian character, usefulness and love. I pray that we would all be able to sing the chorus of ‘I would be like Jesus’ together

“Be like Jesus, this my song, In the home and in the throng; Be like Jesus, all day long! I would be like Jesus.”