Thursday, June 21, 2018

Fruit of the Spirit: Love (Part 1)

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." ~Galatians 5:22‭-‬23 NKJV

When the Fruit of the Spirit is evident in our lives others will know who we follow without us having to say a word. Like me, you might look at this list and think, "I live out the Fruit of the Spirit most of the time with most of the people in my life." Our humaness gets in the way sometimes. Yet, we are called to live this out everyday, all day, with all people. *Ouch* Even on our bad days and especially on their bad days.

Love is first on the list. Love is who God is. He doesn't just have love - He is love!

In Mark 12:30-31 we are given these commandments:

"and you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your understanding and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You are to love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other mitzvah greater than these.” ~CJB

Scripture tells us that if we love God we will keep His commandments. Love should ensure that we won't violate the relationship. We wouldn't cause pain on purpose. Love should ensure we won't turn our backs on God or one another when things don't go the way we think they should.

"By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” ~John 13:35 NKJV

Love for one another. Love, real agape love, spiritual and selfless love. Unconditional love. Love that sees your faults and loves you anyway. Love that wants to build you up, encourage you to be a better you not a different superficial you.  Love that sees beyond the clothes we wear, brand name or thrift store. Love that sees beyond the silver in our hair, the winkles, the color or our skin. Love that sees beyond the cars and houses we have or don't have. Love that takes time to listen to your heart, love that commits, love that lends a helping hand expecting nothing in return. Love that shines through your eyes, smile, and the words you speak. Love that shows evidence that God lives within us.

Love is the very essence of God. The very essence of who we should be. Are we living love? When we look in the mirror do we see love, hate, maybe indifference?

Everyday before you get out of bed, before you utter that first word. Ask God to fill you with His love. Enough so it overflows from you to others.

Proverbs 10:12, 1 Corinthians 13:1-8, and
John 3:16.

Crissy Johnson 2014

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