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On the Basis of Love

On the Basis of Love

Words of Faith 12-23-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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[8] Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, [9] yet I appeal to you on the basis of love.


      Sometimes it is better not to throw your weight around.  Paul discerned that this was one of those times.  Paul was writing to make a bold request in the context of the ancient world.  Set a slave free, not because he has earned his freedom, but because Christ has set him free.  

     Paul had long ago come to the conviction that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal. 3:28).  But he chose to appeal rather than give an order.  There is a difference.

    The words that Paul used here were compelling.  He could have been bold, blunt, or fully outspoken, but he chose not to be.  He could have ordered Philemon—commanded, charged, enjoined, or forced him to do what he wanted.  Instead, Paul appealed.

    The word translated “appeal” means much more than just a matter of inquiry.  This is the rich Greek word parakaleo, meaning to call near, invite, invoke by imploration, call for, be of good comfort or entreat.  The word means to come alongside.  Paul chose to come alongside and invite a different consideration based on love.

     This is the way of the Spirit.  To call someone near and invite them to consider a different way is the work of the Spirit.  To be of good comfort while imploring a different path is a ministry of the Spirit.  It is the ministry of the Spirit to entreat one toward the way of God and speak on the basis of love. This was the Spirit at work in Paul.

      There is a lesson to be learned here about how we conduct our lives.  Of course, we need to pick our battles.  But even more, we need to realize that the way of the Spirit is the way of love.  The appeal of the Spirit is based on love.  

      Are there some battles you have been thinking about picking?  Is there a worry or concern that has been bothering you?  Rather than launch an attack, why not invite that person alongside?  Why not entreat them with comfort?  Why not appeal based on love?


     Father God, teach me to do more than just hold my tongue.  Teach me how to come alongside and invite another to consider a different view.  Give me ears to hear and a heart to listen.  Help me to realize when and where I may be wrong, too.  Make me an instrument of Your peace.  In Jesus’ Name.


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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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