The Power of Love

THE POWER OF LOVE

(Pastor Lee Jackson – FFWC)

I)       INTRODUCTION – LAST WEEK WE BEGAN A SERIES ON LOVE, WHICH SEEMS APPROPRIATE FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY AND THE CELEBRATION OF VALENTINE’S DAY. IN THIS FIRST INSTALLMENT WE TALKED ABOUT: “THE QUALITY OF LOVE” AND WE USED 1CORINTHIANS 13 AS OUR TEXT.  WE ALSO FOUND OUT THAT THERE ARE PRINCIPALLY THREE KINDS OF LOVE TALKED ABOUT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT: SEXUAL OR SENSUAL LOVE (EROS), BROTHERLY LOVE (PHILEO), AND GOD’S KIND OF LOVE (AGAPE).  JESUS TOLD A STORY THAT DEMONSTRATES THE POWER OF LOVE:  ILLUSTRATED IN THE STORY OF THE PRODIGAL SON IN LUKE 15. (TEXT LUKE 15:11 – 26)

II)    OBSERVATIONS ON THE STORY OF THE PRODIGAL SON

1)      THE FATHER WAS A LOVING AND GENEROUS FATHER.

2)       HE HAD BUILT A RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS SONS AND MADE THEM EQUITY PARTNERS IN THE FAMILY BUSINESS.

3)      THE YOUNGER SON WAS TIRED OF THE HARD WORK, THINKING THAT HE WAS MISSING OUT ON WHAT LIFE HAD TO OFFER. HE WAS READY TO SHUCK IT ALL, FIND NEW LIFE, NEW FRIENDS AND PARTY.

4)      THE FATHER WAS NOT CONTROLLING OR MANIPULATIVE.  HE UNDERSTOOD THAT A LOVING RELATIONSHIP WAS BASED UPON THE PRINCIPLE OF FREE WILL.

III) HOW THE FATHER DEMONSTRATED LOVE FOR HIS SON WHEN HE ASKED FOR HIS INHERITANCE SO THAT HE COULD LEAVE?

A)    LOVE IS NOT PROUD: THE FATHER’S PRIDE COULD HAVE BEEN WOUNDED. AFTER ALL HAD NOT HE TREATED HIS SON WELL, PROVIDED FOR HIS EVERY NEED AND PROMISED HIM AN INHERITANCE?

B)     LOVE IS NOT EASILY ANGERED: THE FATHER COULD HAVE GOTTEN ANGRY AND TOLD HIS SON HOW SELFISH AND UNGRATEFUL HE WAS, BUT HE HELD HIS PEACE.

C)    LOVE IS PATIENT AND KIND:  THE FATHER LISTENED TO HIS BOY EVEN THOUGH HE KNEW THE BOY WAS ABOUT TO MAKE THE BIGGEST MISTAKE OF HIS LIFE.  HE GAVE THE BOY WHAT HE ASKED FOR.

D)    LOVE IS NOT SELF-SEEKING:  THE FATHER DIDN’T THINK ABOUT HIMSELF AND EVEN THE IMPACT ON FAMILY BUSINESS.  HOW THEY WERE  COUNTED ON THE BOY AND TO DO HIS SHARE: HE DIDN’T TELL HIS SON HOW DESPERATELY HE WAS NEEDED TO HELP TIL AND SOW THE FIELDS AND HELP BRING IN THE HARVEST; HE JUST GAVE HIM WHAT HE WANTED.

IV) HOW THE FATHER DEMONSTRATED LOVE WHILE HIS SON WAS AWAY?

A)    LOVE ALWAYS PERSEVERES: THE FATHER CONTINUED BEING A GOOD FATHER TAKING CARE OF HIS OTHER SON AND THE FAMILY BUSINESS – KEEPING THINGS TOGETHER – BEING FAITHFUL.

B)     LOVE ALWAYS HOPES:  THE FATHER HAD NOT FORGOTTEN HIS SON WHO HAD LEFT.  HE WAS WAS CONSTANTLY LOOKING DOWN THAT ROAD LONGING FOR THE BOY TO RETURN.  HE SAW HIS SON COMING A LONG WAY OFF.  IT IS OBVIOUS THAT HE WAS CONSTANTLY LOOKING DOWN THAT ROAD LOVINGLY WAITING FOR HIS SON TO RETURN.  HE NEVER LOST HOPE.

V)    HOW THE FATHER DEMONSTRATED LOVE WHEN HIS SON RETURNED BRUISED AND BROKEN, BODY AND SOUL?

A)    LOVE KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS:  THE FATHER DIDN’T HAVE TO TAKE HIS SON BACK.  AFTER ALL, HE HAD SQUANDERED HIS PORTION.  HE COULD HAVE SAID “I TOLD YOU SO…”.  HE COULD HAVE BERATED AND BELITTLED HIM, BUT INSTEAD HE LOVED AND EMBRACED HIM.

B)     LOVE ALWAYS PROTECTS: THE FATHER SAW HIS SON’S BATTERED AND BRUISED, EMACIATED BODY AND RAGGED, DIRTY CLOTHES AND INSTINCTIVELY CALLED TO HIS SERVANTS,  “QUICK! BRING THE BEST ROBE AND PUT IT ON HIM, GIVE HIM A NEW PAIR OF SHOES.  PROTECTING HIS BRUISED AND WEAKENED BODY FROM THE ELEMENTS.

C)      LOVE ALWAYS TRUSTS:  THE FATHER COULD HAVE LISTENED TO HIS SON AND TAKEN HIM BACK RELUCTANTLY, AS A HIRED SERVANT.  HE COULD HAVE MADE HIM PAY HIS DUES AND PROVE HIMSELF, BUT HE REINSTATED HIM INTO THE FAMILY.  HE PUT THE FAMILY RING UPON HIS FINGER SIGNIFYING HIS POSITION AND AUTHORITY IN THE FAMILY AND THE FAMILY ENTERPRISE.

D)    LOVE NEVER FAILS (NEVER GIVES UP):  THE FATHER IGNORED HIS SON’S PITIFUL PLEA.  HE SAID, “BRING THE FATTED CALF…LET’S HAVE A FEAST AND CELEBRATE FOR THIS SON OF MINE WAS DEAD AND IS ALIVE AGAIN; HE WAS LOST AND WAS FOUND.”  SO THEY BEGIN TO CELEBRATE.  THE HOUSE WAS FILLED WITH MUSIC AND DANCING AND CELEBRATION.  LOVE NEVER FAILS!

VI) ANOTHER REAL LIFE STORY TOLD IN THE BOOK OF PHILEMON.

A)    ONESIMUS WAS A RUN-AWAY SLAVE WHO MET PAUL IN ROME AND BECAME A CHRISTIAN.

B)     HIS MASTER WAS PHILEMON WAS ALSO A CHRISTIAN, WHOM PAUL KNEW.

C)    THE LAWFUL PENALTY FOR A SLAVE RUNNING AWAY WAS DEATH.

D)    PAUL RETURNS ONESIMUS TO HIS MASTER WITH THIS TENDER LETTER.  SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

1)      Phm 1:5 (NIV)…I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints.

2)    Phm 1:9 (NIV) yet I appeal to you on the basis of love. I then, as Paul–an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus

3)    Phm 1:10 (NIV)  I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains.

4)    Phm 1:11 (NIV) Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.

5)      Phm 1:14 (NIV) But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do will be spontaneous and not forced.

6)      Phm 1:15 (NIV) Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good–

7)      Phm 1:16 (NIV) no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brotheR…

VII)          CONCLUSION – WHAT IS THE POWER OF LOVE? RESTORED RELATIONSHIP.  THE BIBLE SAYS THAT WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US.   “FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON…” IT WAS LOVE FOR US THAT NAILED HIM TO THE CROSS.   WHILE IN HORRIBLE PAIN AND PHYSICAL ANGUISH HE LOOKED UPON THOSE THAT CRUCIFIED HIM AND SAID, “FATHER FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO…” JohN 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  THIS MORNING, I BELIEVE, THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS URGING US TO REACH OUT TO FAMILY MEMBERS AND BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST WHO ARE ESTRANGED AND LOST TO US.  PRAY THAT GOD WOULD HELP YOU TO LOVE THAM AND TO GIVE AND RECEIVE FORGIVENESS. SEEK RECONCILIATION WITH THEM.

Your Support is Greatly Apreciated

Speak Your Mind

*