They will know we are Christians by our love
But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control . . . —Galatians 5:22,23 (TLB)
We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19 (NIV)
It’s the first fruit of the spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. The Bible tells us that God is LOVE (1 John 4:7-10). When we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and love our neighbors as ourselves, we show the world we belong to Jesus. If God is love then we were made to reflect his love. That’s why Jesus said the greatest commandments are to “love the Lord with all your heart, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:36-40)
Why would love be so important to be listed first among the fruit of the spirit, mentioned so many times throughout the scriptures, and spoken of so often by Jesus Himself? Because without love, everything else is worthless.
It’s February, so I know you might have recently reread a verse from I Corinthians 13. A beautiful passage for weddings, we often hear it quoted starting in verse 4. Look back a tad to find what Paul says on the importance of love. “…if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned; but have not love, I gain nothing.“(2b-3) Wait. What? If we have the faith to move mountains, but don’t have love in our hearts, it’s worthless faith! All too often we place more importance on faith and works than on love. The fact is, that those works and that faith ought to be based in love. When we perform kind acts, it should be out of love, not duty.
When Jesus Christ was questioned as to the greatest of the commandments, He listed near the top “love your neighbor as yourself“(Matthew 22:39). If we can keep this commandment, almost everything else we’re instructed to do will come as a natural byproduct.
My love is weak but in You Lord I know that my love will grow and I pray that it may bud and blossom into the promised fruit of the Spirit… I pray that my life may become a life that has Christ Jesus as the center – until I am nothing and He is everything.
I pray for love to grow in me..
Roberta Smith, Faith and Family Coordinator