By Anna Moore
TODAY in our Fruits of the Spirit series we’re going to focus on the fruit of love.
As I was wrestling with this whole idea of love, I was trying to decide which kind of love I would focus on, whether it was the love of a parent, friend, girl/boyfriend or the love of God, it began to really hit me that our earthly perception of love has become so warped, even if we don’t intend for it to be. So, for me to talk about love and not talk about the love of God would be me not talking about real love at all. Just a preface: all real and perfect love stems from God so that’s of course what I’ll be focusing on today.
I actually just finished reading the Johns (1 and 2), and 1 John is filled with so many great nuggets about the love of God, especially in 1 John 4, where 16 verses are dedicated to the fact that God is love. It is a really great section of verses, so you should definitely check it out if you get any spare time, but just a few examples to start us out:
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (verses 7-8) “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” (verses 11-12)
The first section of verses really sticks out to me. So simple, yet so complete is the fact that the whole essence and purpose of God is love, and the way to be the best representatives of Christ, all we must do is love one another. Well, what is love anyways? So many different people have come up with so many different ideas of what this word love means and there is still not a solid definition of the word. However, since God is the very essence of love, the only way to know when you have it or experience it is to look at who God is in scripture. There are so many different verses that talk about God’s pure nature; whether it is love, peace, joy, jealousy (the good kind), passionate, selfless, sacrificial, and soooo many other amazing and wonderful things. So, love in its true form is simply just God in His true form, and this will be your challenge for the day: Look through scripture today, find at least five characteristics of God, and meditate if/how they solidify the fact that God is love. On a bigger scale, I would also challenge you to take these five characteristics and try to apply them to at least one relationship in your life whether it is a mom, brother, or good friend.
Having the real love of God in your relationships can make a life-changing difference, so ask Him to give you wisdom to see His characteristics and pray that you will have the courage to love others with the same characteristics of God, selflessly, joyfully, sacrificially…etc. Even though our earthly idea of love is distorted, it says in 1 John 4:12 that if we love one another then God’s love will be perfected in us, so let’s continue to love others with the love that God shows to us.