Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Fruit of The Spirit - Love

Read: Galatians 5:22-23, John 3:16, Mark 12:30–31, John 15:13, 1 John 3:11, Romans 5:8, Luke 6:35, 1 John 5:3, John 13:35.

For the believer, when it comes to The Fruit of The Spirit, Love is one of the hardest fruits to bear as it doesn’t come naturally to us.

In the landscape of culture, background, upbringing and more, it can mean many things to each person.

To add to the confusion, it also doesn't help that what is called "love" is also skewed by what we often see represented in multiple venues such as movies, TV, books and even people around you that you may know. 

It may also be personally hard for you accept, receive and give to others because of how you were raised, the horrible ways you've been treated as well as the false examples of love you've experienced. 

If your/our idea of love falls into any of the before mentioned examples that we see in the culture, or the negative ones you've experienced first hand, we need to work hard to reject these ideas in order to see true love, the perfect love that God replaces the worlds love with. 

Because of how prevalent the culture and our sinful nature is, we need to rethink and re-calibrate what love really is. 

God's Love including the Love that comes through the Fruit of The Spirit, are completely different than the love we can experience and that we see exhibited in the world.  
The Fruit of The Spirit of Love...
What you need to understand is that your understanding of true love starts with receiving God’s unconditional love and forgiveness for yourself. That's right, unconditional!

Love is truly a part of the greatest Gift God gives you because it was in love, He gave everything that you might experience His love and forgiveness! 

Now, because of how much God’s Word teaches us about love, I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that love is the first Fruit of The Spirit that God shares with us. 
Why? Because it's clear that all the other gifts cannot be fulfilled without the gift of Love. 

What love is and what it isn't...
Lets look for a moment at what love is and what it isn't...

What love Isn’t...
-Love isn't conditional.
-Love is not what the culture and your friends typically display. Movies, music and more communicate a love that is temporal and based on shifting or inconsistent standards. 
-Often the “love” displayed or given is based only on physical attraction. 
Or, it’s ruled by emotions such as, "I’m mad at you so I can’t love you anymore until I’m happy then we’re all good." 
-Also, As real as emotions are, true love isn't just about emotions or feelings nor should it be ruled by these things. 
-It’s also often based on what you get instead of what is given like "I’ll love you if." If you do something for me. 

Again it's not conditional! Conditional "love" is not love at all!

What love is...
When you survey God's Word several themes emerge (and more) regarding what love is. 

-Love is Action...
-Love is Sacrifice...
-Love is a Choice...
-Love is Unconditional...
-Love is a Supernatural Gift from God...
(See suggested readings above for some examples)

You need to understand that true love starts with receiving God’s love and forgiveness for yourself!

True love is never based on a moving target or standard. 

Love is also something you have to choose to do. It’s an action. It’s not about feelings.

Things to keep in mind...
God gives us opportunities to develop the gift of Love as it really doesn’t come naturally to us.

God wants you to love people in His name and we are to be known by our love. 

Furthermore, we will be known as His disciples by our love. (See John 13:35)

God always gives us something lasting and better instead of the temporal or the imperfect things of this world and in this case He gives us love and His love is perfect and everlasting.

True love never fails!

Let's pray for one another that we'll continue to grow in the wisdom and knowledge of God including growing further in the Fruit of The Spirit through the help of the Holy Spirit! 

Questions to get started with:
1. What does Love mean? 
2. What are the 4 main categories or types of Biblical love? (Hint: Research what Eros, Storge, Phileo and Agape mean.)
3. How will I allow the Love of God to work in and through me today and throughout the week? 
4. What actions can I take today to act in love toward others?   

Blessings in Christ,


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