When I was first thinking about and planning this particular series, I began to form what I wanted to discuss each day as we dove into the nine aspects of the fruit of the Spirit together. I was praying for the right words to say in each post, for the right analogies and divine insights into the heart of God. But as I sat down to write this post about love, it occurred to me that I don’t need to reinvent the wheel. It’s not my words that are important, but his.
So this post (and probably the rest in this series) is going to be a little different because it will contain mostly Scripture. It’s so tempting to skip over Bible verses in posts because we’ve heard them before. But I pray that we don’t do that here. Let’s take the time to really read God’s word and cherish it. Let’s make the space to hear God’s voice. And let’s choose to open ourselves to him so he can reveal areas of sin, shame, and brokenness in our lives.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
What is Love?
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:12-13 (ESV)
“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.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (ESV)
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:16-18 (ESV)
“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” 1 John 4:9-12 (ESV)
Love is an emotion.
Love is a decision.
Love is an action.
Love is a person and his name is Jesus.
Reading through these verses again, I am reminded of how frail my love is. I am not known for my love for others. I’m good at loving in theory, but not in actuality. I don’t always walk in love. I’m often proud and self-centered instead of humble and selfless. I often think of myself way more than I think of others and I usually don’t love my neighbor as much as I love myself. These passages remind me of my desperate need for grace. God’s word makes me grateful for his forgiveness.
How can you love others around you today?
What’s one way you can grow in your love?
To go Deeper: Read The Correlation of Love and Forgiveness,
Characteristics of the Kingdom: Sacrificial