…But the greatest of these is love.
(1 Corinthians 13:13b)
The first of the Fruit of the Spirit attributes that we will be examining will be love. We see from 1 Corinthians 13:13 (above) that love is mentioned as being quite a big deal. But why?
I think because love is who God is. Not just what he does, but who He is.
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
(1 John 4:8)
Our very existence comes because God loved us. He loved us enough to create us, He loved us enough to save us, He loves us enough to give us His Spirit. Our response has to be to show love. To God and to men.
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” Love does no harm to its neighbour. Therefore love is the fulfilment of the law. – Romans 13:8-10
Love is… what makes us who we are.
Love is… how we show who we are.
Love is… God shining out from us.
Love is… what we do when we are not strong enough to do anything else.
So how do we show love for others, and develop this Spiritual Fruit? As an exercise, I want to invite you to read 1 Corinthians 13, and replace the word Love with your own name in the second half.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Sharkbait is patient;
Sharkbait is kind;
SHarkbait does not envy;
Sharkbait does not boast;
Sharkbait is not proud;
Sharkbait is not rude;
Sharkbait is not self-seeking;
Sharkbait is not easily angered;
Sharkbait keeps no record of wrongs;
Sharkbait does not delight in evil;
Sharkbait rejoices with the truth;
Sharkbait always protects;
Sharkbait always trusts;
Sharkbait always hopes;
Sharkbait always perseveres.
(So, did you score as badly as I did?)
If we love, then the other qualities will come naturally.
If we focus on the other qualities, then love will follow naturally.
- When we are kind, we show love.
- When we are patient, we show love.
- When we show goodness, we show love.
- When we are gentle, we show love.
- If we love, then we will be kind, patient, good, etc.
What do you think love is? And how do we grow it in our lives?
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