Fruit of the Spirit, Love

Fruit of the Spirit, Love

The Bible couldn’t be much clearer on Christian behavior than the fruits of the Spirit. It is narrowed down to 9 characteristics in Galatians 5 for us.
Anyone can display these characteristics, even the lost, from time to time, but for those of us who have the indwelling Holy Spirit these are actual fruits from the Holy Spirit that are displayed in us when we yield ourselves to Him.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another” - Galatians 5:22-26
The first fruit listed is love.
Love is such a marvelous thing! I remember when I first realized I loved my husband, and wanted to marry him. Everything was perfect; I couldn’t stop smiling! Just the sound of his voice caused butterflies in my stomach! I spent my free time dreaming of spending our lives together in perfect matrimony. I even lost weight without trying! This is Eros love, a romantic, passionate love.
After my husband and I got married, and I found out I was pregnant with our daughter, I experienced a whole new level of love. Just knowing I had this sweet baby, a new life, growing inside of me changed my outlook on everything! About mid-way through my pregnancy, we were told a sonogram had detected a spot on our baby’s brain. I instantly went from being in love times one million, to heart break and ache. I don’t remember how long we had to wait between getting that news and having a second sonogram, but I do know it felt like an eternity. When the second sonogram came back negative for a spot, another new level of love, and protection swept over me like I’d never had before. This is Storage love, natural affection, usually between parents and children.
There are two kinds of love the Bible speaks of, Philia, which is brotherly love, or friendship and Agape, which is God’s love toward us, and our reflection of His love
I have several friends that I love with a brotherly love, as I am sure you do; those friends who are more like family, who just pop over, or you just pop over to their house without notice or invite. Those friends you haven’t talked to in months, or years and when you do talk again, you just pick up right where you left off. Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13. This is Philia love, and the example Jesus gave is the ultimate expression of Philia love.
All of these different ways of love are wonderful, and each of us needs them; but, without Agape love, none of them would be possible.
God is love.
Of course the greatest show of love that there ever was and ever will be is when God sent His Son, Jesus, to die on that cross for you and me.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” John 3:16
God loves us, you and me, so much, He sent His only begotten Son to die for us…a filthy, sin-sick world; the same world He destroyed years before because of sin.
How do you think you would respond if God told you to take your child to the mountain to offer up as a burnt offering? Abraham was very obedient and faithful, he didn’t question God’s request, he just got up and did it. When they approached the place for the burnt offering, he told the men that went with him and Isaac that they {both of them} would return. And when Isaac asked Abraham where the lamb was for the burnt offering, Abraham’s response was, God will provide Himself a lamb. THAT is love.
This man thought he would never have his own children, and waited for years after God promised him a son in his old age; but he loved God more; as we should. Jesus said, "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." Matthew 10:37
But God commanded His love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8.
There it is again, Christ died for us.
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we 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 ought also to love one another.” I John 4:7-11



There is the command.
“we ought also to love one another”. While it is possible to love someone without Christ, it is impossible to reflect God’s love without loving the Lord; and it is THIS love that bears all things, and casts out fear.
God’s love enables us to do so much, and bear so much, things I wouldn’t even want to attempt without His love. His love runs deeper than any sea and is higher than any mountain top. He knows everything about us, He even knows the number of hairs upon our heads, and He still loves us.
The more we love the Lord the more His love comes through us. His love comes in many shapes and sizes, and has many characteristics.
This is what Agape love looks like in Ephesians 4:25-32
Speaks truth
Doesn’t sin
Good communication, edifying others
Kind to others
Tenderhearted
Forgiving
Thankful
This is what Agape love looks like in I Corinthians chapter 13
Long suffering
Kind
Doesn’t envy others or things
Is not prideful
Doesn’t keep record of wrongs
Does not behave bad
Is not selfish
Doesn’t anger easily
Doesn’t think bad or evil thoughts
Doesn’t like or rejoice in sin
Rejoices in truth
Bears all things
Believes all things
Hopes all things
Endures all things
Doesn’t fail
I Peter 4:8 says, “Love covers a multitude of sins” reaffirming that love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs done to oneself, and is forgiving; just as Jesus forgave you.
These things can only be done whole heartily with Agape love. In my own life, I know I would be in a different place than I am now if I did not have the Father’s love in me, and if my husband didn’t have the Father’s love in him.
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and truth.” I John 3:18
I know there people who don’t love the Lord have marriages that last a life time, and have children they adore very much. I know there are men and women in our military that have died not only for their country, but for their comrades as well, without a love for Christ. So, it is possible to love others without loving God, but, when we have that Agape love flowing through us, it reaches a whole new level that one without Christ can ever know

I just started this same study with my children's Sunday school class. I saw a really cute Fruit of the Spirit banner on Pinterest someone else had made using stamps and water colors, and came up with my own version for my kids to make. I am letting my class paint their banners, but they could be colored with crayons and pencils too! Each week I'll share one 'fruit' for the banner with you so you can make your own! You may download your copy of LOVE by clicking on the image below!



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Jenn

20 comments:

  1. So many wonderful insights about love- especially God's love : ) Thanks for these sweet reminders today!

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    1. Thank you Bethany, God bless you, thank you for visiting Is It Monday, Yet?

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  2. God and His timing! We had a ladies event at church last Friday where the speaker discussed the different types of love. God's love is the greatest, and without, the rest wouldn't matter. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful reminder. Visiting you here from Testimony Tuesday :)

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    1. Thank you Mandy, I don't think the other loves could even exist without God's love! What a wonderful discussion for your ladies event! Thank you so much for visiting Is It Monday, Yet? God bless you!

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  3. It´s very interesting to read the verses from Bible in English, since I know them only in my mother tongue.
    I have some friends in the "Philia" category of love. Since we live abroad and I visit my home country only 3 times a year, when I meet them, it´s like we just pick up when we left off. And I´m very grateful to God for those friendships, that even 1000km can´t break.

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    1. Awe your friendships abroad sound amazing Adina! God bless you, and thank you for visiting Is It Monday, Yet?

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  4. I love your explanation of the different types of love. God's love is certainly the strongest love of all. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you Penny, God bless you and thank you for visiting Is It Monday, Yet?

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  5. Love is an amazing gift, isn't it? Great post about the different kinds of love.
    Visiting from #RaraLinkup

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    1. Thank you Julie, love is an amazing gift! Thank you for visiting Is It Monday, Yet? God bless you!

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  6. Thanks for sharing your insights here on the fruit of the Spirit, Jenn. This is a topic that is "ripe" for picking, tasting and enjoying! ;)

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    1. Thank you Beth! God bless you and thank you for visiting Is It Monday, Yet?!

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  7. I'm engaging in a walk with God that is clarifying His love for me as His daughter. Once upon a time, 1 Cor 13 was "used" by another to show me my shortcomings. Then one day God revealed that this love chapter is a demonstration of HIS agape love. Thank you for listing it out as such. It's lovely and encouraging.

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    1. Thank you Cathy! God bless you! Thank you for visiting Is It Monday, yet?

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  8. Developing the fruit of the Spirit in us is so key to bearing His image as we live out our life, Jenn. Thanks for sharing your insights. {Visiting from #MomentsofHope where we're neighbors this week!}

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    1. Thank you so much for visiting Is It Monday, Yet? God bless you!

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  9. It blows me away when I remember that even the most intense, passionate, fiercest love I have doesn't - couldn't - compare to how He loves us! So good! We can never hear it or feel it or share it enough! Great post!

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    1. Thank you Karrilee! I tell my children all the time, I love you, but Jesus loves you more. Thank you so much for visiting Is It Monday, yet? God bless you!

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  10. Jenn, this is my first visit to you blog. What a beautiful study on love! You made so many great points and it's a message we need to be reminded of all the time. Our reflection of His love is what brings Him glory! Blessings!

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    1. Thank you Donna, I am so very glad you stopped by! God bless you!

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