Fruit of the Spirit - Love 3/24/20

Fruit of the Spirit: Love

In Galatians 5:22-23 we find the fruit of the Spirit listed. These are spiritual qualities that the Holy Spirit develops within the believer as he is sanctified.

The first fruit mentioned is love. We need to understand what is meant by love. Most people are probably familiar with the phrase from I John 4:8, “God is love.” Unfortunately, this is probably one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible. Taken out of context, people think it means that love defines God. The truth is the exact opposite, God defines love. Our imperfect, earth-centered understanding of love does not define God. What this verse means is that if you want to understand love, you must know God. One of the best examples of God’s love is found in Romans 5:8 “but God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” God’s love is sacrificial, it is not earned by us but is a gift of grace. Meditate on the following four verses.

First, we must love God. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)

We must love our fellow believers. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another.” (John 13:34) Not only are we to love our brothers and sisters in Christ, but we are to love them in the same way that Jesus loves us.

We must love our neighbors. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31) We are to love those who are outside the community of faith, even as we love ourselves.

And, we are to love our enemies. “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44) God calls us to love even our enemies.

As we rejoice in God’s love for us and as we meditate on the love that God calls us to show to Him, to the body of Christ, to our neighbors, and even to our enemies, how well-developed is the fruit of love in our own hearts and lives? We must know God that He might fill us with His love. We must know God to know how to love. Amen.

Pastor Mike

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