Summary: As dear children, how do we perfect or develop God’s love if we do not know the true sense or meaning of love. This is our task today; to know what is true love, who is love, and why should we develop love in our heart and in our conduct.
Elder M. Edmunds
Co-Pastor of United Ordained Church
“Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children: And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor.”
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, pinned this text for the churches in Asia as well as for the congregation at Ephesus to instruct them how to conduct themselves as dear children of God.
Here Paul uses the word “children” for a particular reason. Paul is drawing attention to the positive qualities that “most children” posses. For “most children” are more trusting and loving than most adults. Children are more apt to forgive and become humble than those who chronologically age through bad experiences that life presents.
For instance, two children may argue and say unkind things to each other at school or around the neighborhood at one moment of the day. However, before school is out that day or before the day is done, they will probably have their arms around each other and be best friends again! And they will treat each other as if they never did anything wrong. Now tell me what adult in this age exemplifies this trait of pure forgiveness. For we struggle as adults with un-forgiveness and bitterness.
These two negative behaviors we posses as adults have destroyed families, friends, opportunities, and destines.
Jesus exclaimed with words of warning as He taught His disciples how to pray, and it most be a “reminder” to us who struggle with these enemies of un-forgiveness and bitterness which cripple our youth, devastates our relationships, close the door to opportunities, and detour us from our destines. That “If ye forgive men their trespasses (their reckless and willful sins and violations, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment), your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
So, we most be like most of our children, treating one another as if no wrong was done so that we can find forgiveness for our own wrongs that we committed against our family, our children, our associates, ourselves, and our God. Therefore, in the refreshing mist of forgiveness, we can enjoy life as God intended for us as we journey through this life exemplifying the love, which our Father demonstrated in Christ Jesus.
For Christ Jesus was spat upon, ridiculed and reviled, mocked and rejected, for doing no wrong to others. And He said with all purity, “Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do.”
Moreover, because of His choice to forgive and not arbor bitterness and resentment, He conquered the enemy of death, hell, and the grave.
Now He sets in the place of honor enjoying the fellowship of His Father and He is now interceding for us to be loosed from un-forgiveness and bitterness so we can conquer the true enemies of our soul and enjoy the real experience of peace, joy, love, and property as dear children of God.
Not only did Paul address the churches of Asia as dear children, he also encouraged them to walk in love. This is our theme for this blessed day, “Perfecting God’s love.”
As dear children, how do we perfect or develop God’s love if we do not know the true sense or meaning of love. This is our task today; to know what is true love, who is love, and why should we develop love in our heart and in our conduct.
For if we understand these three aspects of love, we can be children of purpose and prominence, children who understand the meaning of life and who will conquer every adversary who attempts to thwart us from achieving our dreams and entering into our divine destinies.
1. What is the meaning of love?
Our society trivializes love by superficially maw-king it as just an emotion. The love we hear about in popular songs is almost always portrayed as a feeling—usually involving unfilled desire.
Most love songs describe love as a longing, a passion, a craving that is never quite satisfied, and a set of expectations that are never met. Unfortunately, that sort of love is devoid of any ultimate meaning. It is actually a tragic reflection of human lost-ness.
Most love songs not only reduce love to an emotion, but they also make it an involuntary one. People claim they “fall” in love. They get “swept off their feet” by love. They can’t help themselves. They go “crazy” for love. And there are those who claim, “I’m hooked on a feeling,” while others confess, “I think I’m going out of my head” just because of an emotional sensation.
However, Paul admonishes the congregation of Ephesus as well as us to walk in love. This word love is not what our society portrays nor is it what we desire for our children.