As I continue my series on the fruits of the Spirit, I would next like to discuss the fruit of love. Let’s first look at our main scripture for the fruits of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law.”. God loves every single one of us, whether or not we are a true Christian. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”. God loves everyone no matter who you are, this is why he gave us His only son so that if we stay true to Him we can have eternal life. Mark 12:30 says, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”. Since God loves us so much and has given us all His best, which is our savior he expects us to love Him back to the best of our ability. If you read the next verse in Mark 12 it says, “The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”. As followers in Christ, we are to show love to others, even though it can be challenging at times.
You might ask what difference will it make if I show everyone love or not? The answer can be found in John 13:34-35 where Jesus said: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this, all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.”. In this scripture Jesus is talking to his disciples, the word disciple has the following synonyms: adherent, believer, admirer, devotee, and follower. If you are a follower of Christ then you should show love to the people around you along with walking in the other fruits of the Spirit. In order to be successful followers in Christ, we must lead by certain characteristics, which one of those is love. 1 John 4:8 says, “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”. God is love, so we must show love to others.
Aside from loving a family member or a spouse, the Bible provides a very clear definition of love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.”. This scripture gives us a great definition of how we are to act with love. We can all take away one thing if not more from this scripture that we can improve upon. Colossians 3:14 says, “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”. Love keeps us together, many families fall apart often because of lack of love, because they have fallen short of something mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
The main reason families start lacking love is because of works of the enemy. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”. Sometimes we will have an aspect in our life that opens the door for the enemy to work. For instance, if you are in any sin, this opens the door for the enemy to work in your life. If you are thinking negative thoughts, this opens the door for the enemy. If you are listening to music that has lyrics that promote sin, that also can open the door for the enemy in your life. Even as followers of Christ we can open the door for the enemy to try to oppress us which can hinder our walk with God. When our walk with God becomes hindered we can start to lack the fruits of the Spirit, which include love. When we do this we will often have problems with our family or friends. Often when families fall apart because of a lack of love, it is because one or more people in the family have an open demonic door for the enemy to work. This is why as followers of Christ we must stay true to His word and commandments. This is why by reading the word of God daily and walking in the Spirit will help us keep demonic doors closed. Romans 12:2 tells us, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”. Do not worry about what the world says is the trend, worry about what God’s word says the trend should be for every follower of Christ. God loved us so much, that He gave His only son to undo the works of the enemy. 1 John 3:8 says, “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”.
Even when we may not have open doors for the enemy trouble can still arise. This is when we must use our faith and seeking God to overcome the situation. During troubled times we must show love to others because as it is written in 1 Corinthians 13 ‘love bears all things’. We might need to show love to others who are going through a difficult time. Helping others in difficult times is a great way to help build their faith up or even lead them to Christ. One of my favorite scriptures for when you are going through a challenge is Romans 8:28 which says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] for those who are called according to his purpose.”. I leave you with a couple of challenges.
- Are there any open doors for the enemy in your life?
- Are you lacking showing love to others as Christ commanded?
- Are there any parts of the definition of love in which you are weak in as listed in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8?
Once you go through these questions, spend time with God in prayer on the next steps of walking more in the Holy Spirit.