22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.
Over the next two months we will be taking time and focusing on each of the fruits of the Spirit. The first fruit we will reflect on is LOVE. When I think about life in general, I am compelled to say that the greatest of all of the fruits of the Spirit is LOVE. Let’s look at a couple scriptures together and see how important LOVE really is.
1 John 4:19 says – We love because God first loved us. God’s the first one to share His amazing and unconditional love with us and now we have this amazing opportunity to LOVE one another.
I wear a ring on my right ring finger with the inscription, God is love. I can’t tell you how many times throughout the day I look at that ring and I am reminded that God is love and I am called to love others just as He loves me. This ring has been with me now for over 12 years and has traveled to Honduras and other destinations along life’s path. 1 John 4:8 says – But anyone who does not love, does not know God, for God is love.
When we read through one of my favorite scriptures, 1 Corinthians 13 – we learn all about what LOVE really is. This is where it tends to hit me hard, because LOVING others is tough, especially when they don’t treat you the way you think you should be treated or deserve to be treated. 4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9 For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10 but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly,[b] but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. Friends, I encourage us all to read through 1 Corinthians 13 this week, several times. I pray we will hold onto the fact that, the greatest of these is LOVE.
Loving Creator, through all our good days, bad days, and in between days, You love us no matter what. We pray that we can love others the way You love us, even though it can be difficult at times. Encourage us with Your Spirit. Amen.