The Fruit of the Spirit is…LOVE

16 Jun

heartinthesand“The fruit of the Spirit is love…”

Galatians 5:22

The Lord has kept the thought of this “fruit” heavy on my heart today.There is so much to be said! It’s taken me all evening to decide where to begin! Did you know that the word “love” is used 286 times in the Bible?

 Of course there’s the love between a husband and a wife and between parents and their children, but I have no experience in either one of those… yet! 🙂 In fact, the more I thought, the more I wondered what do I know about love? Then my Lord spoke sweetly, “Child, you know much about the love between a King and His daughter! You know what it’s like to be loved unconditionally with an “everlasting love”(Jer. 31:3) and in turn you can love the people in your life with my love!”

Indeed, I know what it’s like to be loved by my Lord and to love Him in return, but I need Him to teach me how to love others with that love. It’s easy to love the Lord that gave His life for mine, the Lord that pours His blessings out upon me day after day! It’s not difficult to love the One that is the most lovable!

It’s applying that love in everyday contexts that’s a little bit tougher! Tough maybe but incredibly vital to a successful Christian life! I don’t think it was a coincidence that this fruit is listed first. After all, when questioned as to what the greatest commandment was Jesus, Himself, replied, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37) I believe love is a subject very dear to the Lord’s heart!

It’s loving even when you don’t feel like loving that is truly bearing the fruit of the Spirit, and that can only be done when we’re abiding in Him! It’s loving the unlovable, the frustrating, the ones that show no love in return that can test us! Yet we are challenged by John in 1 John 3:18 to make sure that our love goes beyond mere word, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” We can say “I love you” but do we live it?

It’s by looking to His example of selfless love that we can best exhibit that love in our lives. Again we are admonished to love like Jesus in 1 John 3:16, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” A great synonym for love could be the word, giving. To love is to indeed give without expecting anything in return. It’s to be willing to surrender selfishness for selflessness. Jesus Christ laid down his life knowing full well that we would never be able to return such a wondrous gesture of love! Loving God’s way is to look for opportunities to “lay down our lives” for the benefit of others on a daily basis.

May I seek to “lay down” my life for the sake of loving others. I can begin in small ways like completing a chore that isn’t typically my responsibility or choosing to refrain from responding when I know the response is one that is less than loving! May I allow the Lord to cultivate the fruit of love in my life!

 “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God;

and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.”

1 John 4:7 

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