Take nine big bites: The fruit of the Spirit (Love)


Hi,
This weekend, I will be giving you last week’s and this week’s bites of the fruit of the Spirit: Love and joy.
Next week, we’ll return to a normal weekly schedule as we study peace.
If you want to read for yourself the fruit of the Spirit, feel free to look at: Galatians 5:22-23.
For the first installment in this series, I couldn’t think of any better way to explain love than to re-post our Valentine’s Day edition of the Monday Meal. Every time I sat down to write about this piece of the Fruit of the Spirit, I was taken back to the below devotional.
How do you rate on the love scale? I’m not asking you how many gifts you bought for others, or how many times the words “I love you” came from your mouth. I wonder however if we really know what love is?
Some may not have had a good earthly example of love, but we all have the best heavenly example of love through Jesus.
In John 15:13-14, Jesus says: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.”
Then in verse 17 he ‘says: “This is my command: Love each other.”
You may be wondering: Will we all sacrifice our lives for love? How are we to love each other?
First, no we will not all die to demonstrate love to one another. However, we may sacrifice in other ways. We may sacrifice our time or our own desires. I’ve heard of many who have sacrificed much to show love to others. Can you think of a time where you have made sacrifices for those you love? Or, was there someone who sacrificed for you?
Second, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 gives us some great guidelines to love by: “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.
Love never fails…”
I honestly believe that our road map for loving others couldn’t be more exact than this.
As we examine this passage of Scripture, I ask again: “How do you rate on the love scale?”
Where do you think your strengths and weaknesses lie in light of the apostle paul’s description of love?
I understand that as humans we are by no means perfect. I can see many places where I myself struggle to love as the Scriptures command us to do. One amazing demention of love is grace. We must show grace to one another as we walk through this life together. And we must thank God every day for His unfailing grace as He leads us on! May the Lord give us the grace and love to rate higher on the love scale!
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

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October 3, 2008. The Monday Meal.

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