Summary: 1- True faith demonstrates the love 2- True faith shares the faith 3- True faith refreshes the saints
INTRO.- I say PhI-lemon. Some say Phile-mon. What do you say? You know old Philemon, don’t you? He was a slave owner. Onesimus had run away and came back a Christian, consequently, Paul asked Philemon to receive him back and treat him kindly.
It pays to be kind, don’t you know? What you sow is what you reap.
Proverbs 11:17 “A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself.”
Faith in the Lord makes all the difference in the world, don’t you think? Just think how miserable life would be without faith in our Creator and our Savior who have promised us eternal life?!
Faith in the Lord is what should govern and/or control our lives. It should makes us the people we are. It should make us better people than perhaps those around us. Our faith in the Lord should affect every aspect of our lives: our marriage, our family life, our work, our friends, our recreation, etc.
How has your faith affected you? How has Christ affected you and changed you? And what does your faith do for you every day?
ILL.- Have you heard or prayed this prayer? “Dear Lord, So far today, I’ve done all right. I haven’t gossiped, haven’t lost my temper, haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or over indulgent. I’m very thankful for that. But, in a few minutes, God, I’m going to get out of bed. And from then on, I’m probably going to need a lot more help.”
And God does give us help in life. That’s how faith affects us.
If our faith doesn’t have a positive affect in our lives then something is wrong. And generally, what is wrong is not our faith. The problem is that we are not letting faith rule in our lives. Self is ruling our lives.
But Christ is supposed to change us. When Christ saw the multitudes he had compassion on them and that’s the change He should bring about in us as well, that is, Christ should change us into compassionate people. From self-serving to people-serving servants!
PROP.- In our text, Paul speaks to Philemon about true faith in the Lord. What is it? What does it do?
1- True faith demonstrates the love
2- True faith shares the faith
3- True faith refreshes the saints
I. TRUE FAITH DEMONSTRATES THE LOVE
4 I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, 5 because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints.
Your love for all the saints. I believe that true faith in the Lord demonstrates love for all the saints, meaning all the Christians.
How do you treat your brothers and sisters in Christ? Those in your church and those in other churches?
ILL.- Some time back Kevin, Wendy, Barrett and Easton Cunningham moved from Jonesboro for Kevin’s new job in Dresden, TN. We hated to see them move. And they really didn’t want to move, but it was a financial thing, not a church thing! They didn’t leave because they didn’t like us! BECAUSE THEY DID LIKE US! I think they felt the love we had for them!
In fact, here’s a note that Wendy wrote to me following their going away party here at the church on July 4th.
“After you announced and recognized us - i wanted to speak and say more than I did, but i started to cry and couldn’t speak! We LOVE the church and our church family- we will miss everything and everyone at JCC. Thanks again! The money will come in handy for the next few weeks helping to pay for Kev’s gas to and from Dresden, TN. We love you guys too!”
Wasn’t that a nice “thank you” note? I would say that we must have done something good for those folks! I would say we demonstrated love to them, but how could we keep from it? Those cute little boys were easy to love!
Some people are just easier to love than others, but love, we must. We must demonstrate love to our brothers and sisters as best we can. Say “howdy do” and do a “howdy” deed and that will demonstrate your love.
ILL.- One of my preacher friends wrote me that he had a couple of calls to make that day. One lady he characterized as being somewhat “crazy.” Well, haven’t we all known a few people like that. Nevertheless, we call on them and demonstrate love to them as best we can.
We need to demonstrate to all the saints: in the church and outside our church. You see, I do believe there are saints and/or saved people in many other churches that preach Jesus as the Son of God and Savior of the world.