As I mentioned in The Choice to be Fruitful, I have begun my study series of the individual fruit of the Spirit, beginning with love.
Our definition of love must come from God, Who is holy, just, and perfect. “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love“, 1 John 4:8. God is the Author, Giver, Enabler, Origin, and Definer of love.
Love was God’s original intention for us from the beginning. All of God’s actions flow from His love. Everything God does is motivated by His love. Love is the Essence of Gods Divine Nature.
Love was the reason for creation. We are here because we are the objects of God’s love. We were made that we might experience His love. We were made in the image and likeness of God and God is love, so in order for us to be like God and to be what we were meant to be, then we must also love.
Adam and Eve were never told to love one another. Then there was the fall and we lost our inclination to act lovingly one to another. Loving one another fulfils God’s original intent. Jesus came to bring us back into a right relationship with God. That relationship includes a right relationship with each other.
God reveals how much He loves us by sending His Son to repair the damage our sins have done to that relationship. “Not only to mend that broken bridge, but to be the Bridge itself. So that we can walk across that Bridge into a new life with Him”
1 John 4:9-10 say, “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” Jesus is our example of what it means to love. He is God’s expression of love. Jesus is proof of God’s love!
We talk about Jesus dying for us and we have communion to celebrate Jesus dying for us, but the love of God needs to work its way down into the core of our being so that it is demonstrated out of our love for others.
When we know that we are loved, and forgiven, and that God’s favor really rests upon us, it can change everything about the way we live our lives. It can change the way we relate and react to others.
God’s love is so amazing, unbending, consistent, faithful, forgiving, and comforts us when we hurt. The only way to respond to such a source of love is to pass it on to others. We need to model His love and copy His behavior.
Because of this broken world that we live in, love can be about self-gratification and self-centeredness. If we aren’t careful we can bring this into our relationship with God. We can think of God as being a person who exists for us, just to make us feel good, to do for us. God’s love is far greater and far bigger than this!
God’s love is an example that takes us beyond self-interest. It overwhelms and consumes us with extreme joy and gratitude because of what God had done, is doing and will continue to do for us. He gives us love so that we can pass it on.
1 John 4:7 says, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” It is our love for each other that demonstrates a witness to the unsaved. It confirms the authenticity of Jesus, the Gospel story, and what God is like. When people see people loving one another they begin to take notice and they want to know what makes these people so different from what they are used to seeing in the world. When people see that we all matter and each of us is important it sends a different message to the world.
The way we develop the fruit of love is by being put in situations where we need to use it, then actually using it. Like a muscle that is inactive will become weak, but when we use that muscle, each time it becomes a little bit stronger. Our love grows a little bit more for others and we can act not react.
We need to pray everyday for the Spiritual fruit of love. We need to let the Holy Spirit flow through us. We need to develop our love walk. We need to be brave and bold enough to say, “God, whatever I need to go through to get to where You want me to be, I want to go through it and grow to be the person You want me to be”.
One of the purposes for God sending His Spirit into our heart is so we can display, not just have, the fruit of the Spirit, the fruit of love. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to love. “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:5
Love is not theory and it is not talk, but it is deeds. Do what needs to be done in every situation, what God would have us do. We need to focus on how we act, sound, treat people, and be about doing for others. We need to give ourselves to God and let God take care of us so we can go take care of somebody else.
Be what you’re about
We need to start in our homes. You know, the ones we treat the worst. The ones we think have to put up with it because we think they can’t get away from us. Which is exactly why so many marriages are failing and families are being torn apart. Sooner or later people do get fed up and they don’t want to put up with it anymore.
I don’t know how many times I have said to one my children, “You would never treat your friend like that, why do you treat your brother/sister that way?” But stepping back and being totally honest, I am guilty of that very act myself. We need to be more kind, especially to the children. We are setting the example! “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:29,32
“Ye shall know them by their fruits” Matthew 7:16a We really never know what kind of fruit we have until it is squeezed. If you want to see people’s hearts, watch their fruit. When thrown into a situation watch their character, how they treat people, and their attitude. We are judged by our fruit! The world needs to see us living what we say we believe.
The love of God is in our hearts. This love trusts God always. This love always looks for the best in people. This love always looks for the best in every situation. This love never looks back and always keeps going.
My prayer is that you feel the love of God today and pass that love on to everyone you encounter. Make each day a special gift!
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