10th June 2014

Fruit of the Spirit—LOVE

(Part one of a series on Galatians 5:22-23) 

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love…”
Galatians 5:22 (NKJV) 

In Galatians chapter five the Apostle Paul lists nine aspects of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit including, love, joy, peace, patience, etc. He uses the term ‘fruit’ as an analogy for us to appreciate that these Godly qualities take time to develop in us—just as fruit on a tree takes time to mature. 

The Bible clearly tells us that God IS Love (1 John 4:8).  His Divine love (Greek noun, Agape; verb, Agapao), goes much deeper than any human being can demonstrate—even the love a mother can show to her children. God’s very Essence and Character are driven by love for us—his creation. 

The world’s idea of love can be quite different from that of God’s. The natural mind will often view “love” in terms of selfish emotion. For example, a person looking for love might unconsciously think, “What can I get from this person without giving much in return?”  Many relationships have floundered as a result of thinking this way! Powerful emotions may accompany love, but it is the commitment of the will that holds true love steadfast. Selfish attitudes are the antithesis of love. God’s way is the way of outgoing concern for the other person—of putting others ahead of self (Philippians 2:3-4). 

As fallible human beings we are all prone to selfish ambition, but that is not the will of the Father for us. His desire is that we gratefully receive the offer of the gift of the Holy Spirit, who will nudge us in the direction of selfless giving. If we yield to the Spirit, he will “let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5). Jesus set us the perfect example of love by showing compassion to, and serving, others during his ministry on earth. He willingly chose to love us—and his love was not based on our meriting it in any way. His greatest demonstration of love was when he died for us while we were still in our sins (Romans 5:8). 

Nowhere in the Bible is this Greek verb agapao used better, than in John’s Gospel, chapter three and verse sixteen: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” This is the kind of love that God gives us when we receive the Holy Spirit. 

And this incredible gift of love can be a part of your life too if you will only ask! 

Prayer
Gracious Father in heaven, help me to put my faith and trust in You. Bless me with greater love through the precious gift of Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray.
Amen
 

Study by John Magowan

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johnmagowanAbout the Author:
John Magowan is a member of the Pastoral Council at Grace Community Church, Lisburn, Northern Ireland, a congregation of the Worldwide Church of God, UK.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion Lisburn
Ballymacbrennan School Hall
129A Saintfield Road
LISBURN
BT27 5PG

Meeting time:
Sunday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
Stuart Foster
Phone: 07764336760
Email:  bobbbeggs@hotmail.com

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