But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” – Galatians 5:22-23 NLT
The thing about a delicious piece of fruit is that it doesn’t just show up ripe and ready out of nowhere. Fruit grows. It starts as a seed and develops to ripeness in the care and tending of soil, branches, vines, sun, and water. It takes time and cultivation by expert farmers who know the best elements and secrets to the process.
Our spiritual lives start as seeds when we accept Christ, then begin to grow into maturity through connection with, and nurturing of, the Holy Spirit. The fruit of His Spirit we exhibit acknowledges a life lived 100% for Christ. And a life lived for Christ casts a glow to those around us, offering opportunity to show and tell of the wonders of God. Over the next five days, we’ll discover what each fruit of the Spirit means and how we can demonstrate them to our sphere of influence. Let’s start with the one from which the rest derive.
The first fruit listed is love, and it seems like the rest of the fruits of the Spirit stem from this one. Above all, we are to love the Lord our God and love each other deeply. If we don’t have love, as it says in 1 Corinthians, our every effort is clunky and like a clanging gong. Love binds this cluster of fruit together as a whole.
What does it look like to love others, especially sometimes when others can be hard to love? It’s being mindful of the love of Christ, asking ourselves how He would treat others in our situation, how He would act, what He would say. Eventually, we can even get to the point where we don’t have to wonder or think about it; we’ll just know. It will be embedded in our hearts and automatically flow into interactions. We can look at the parent who seems to always have a critical comment, smile, and thank them for their input. We can love our teammate who seems to trip on his own two feet each time He gets on the court and tell him he’s doing great. The love of Christ fueling our days is one of the greatest gifts we could ask for.
1. How does knowing God loves you affect the way you treat others?
2. What keeps you from allowing Christ’s love to lead your day?
3. Pray for God to show you someone who is hard to love and do something kind for them.
Deuteronomy 6:5; John 13:34; 1 Corinthians 13:1
"Father God, thank You that You first loved us. Thank You for Your kindness and care for me that lets me see Your love. My heart desires to love You back like it should; grow Your love in me to draw closer to You and spread Your love into the lives of others. Amen.”