Fruit of the Spirit: Love (Part 6)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
(Galatians 5:22-23)

To demonstrate love, we have to remember the 15 attributes of love as described in 1 Corinthians 13~

Love is patient.
Love is kind.
Love does not envy.
Love does not boast.
Love is not arrogant.
Love is not rude.
Love is not selfish.
Love is not provoked.
Love thinks no evil.
Love does rejoices in truth.
Love bears all things.
Love believes all things.
Love hopes all things.
Love endures all things.
Love never fails.

In the rest of this blog series on Fruit of the Spirit: Love, we'll go over a few of these attributes per post.

Love does not envy

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:30

The key to overcoming envy is to have a heart at peace. Contention is a part of life. As you walk through this world, whether at home or at work, there will be people who contend with you and try to take away your peace. But if you renew the peace within your heart by remaining in constant communion with the Lord, then you can keep away from the envy that rots the bones. 

Envy is described as jealousy, hatred, malice, resentment, and opposition.

Just like every temptation that we come across, we have to choose to envy. The temptation comes in as a whisper in the ear, or a piercing of the heart. If we are acutely aware of our natural inclination to give in to this temptation, we can immediately renew our focus. Look to God and ask for Help in overcoming the temptation to envy. Today I pray that your awareness will increase, and that you will look to Jesus for peace each time the temptation for envy comes into your heart.

Fruit of the Spirit: Love (Part 5)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
(Galatians 5:22-23)


To demonstrate love, we have to remember the 15 attributes of love as described in 1 Corinthians 13~

Love is patient.
Love is kind.
Love does not envy.
Love does not boast.
Love is not arrogant.
Love is not rude.
Love is not selfish.
Love is not provoked.
Love thinks no evil.
Love does rejoices in truth.
Love bears all things.
Love believes all things.
Love hopes all things.
Love endures all things.
Love never fails.

In the rest of this blog series on Fruit of the Spirit: Love, we'll go over a few of these attributes per post.

Love is Kind

Kindness starts in the mind.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.  (Romans 12:2)

We are kind when we renew our mind and our feelings about someone else. We are not naturally kind. Instead, we are naturally selfish. In order to show the love of God for others, we have to learn to become kind. Kindness is thoughtfulness, graciousness, helpfulness, and consideration. It is when we put someone else's needs above our own, and meeting those needs as we see them. Today, I ask God to open your eyes to see the needs around you so that you can fulfill them. 

Fruit of the Spirit: Love (Part 4)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
(Galatians 5:22-23)

The First Fruit: Love (Continued...)

But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. (Luke 6:35)

"Do good..." Love must become an action. We can declare all day that we love this, or love that, but unless we can demonstrate our love through action, they are simply words.

How do we do it? How can we act in love?

To demonstrate love, we have to remember the 15 attributes of love as described in 1 Corinthians 13~

Love is patient.
Love is kind.
Love does not envy.
Love does not boast.
Love is not arrogant.
Love is not rude.
Love is not selfish.
Love is not provoked.
Love thinks no evil.
Love does rejoices in truth.
Love bears all things.
Love believes all things.
Love hopes all things.
Love endures all things.
Love never fails.

In the rest of this blog series on Fruit of the Spirit: Love, we'll go over a few of these attributes per post.

Love is patient - Love endures all things:
Our patience is our willingness to endure. Endure discomfort, endure inconvenience, endure disappointment, endure heartbreak. We may be asked to suffer any of these negative things and not let it affect us in such a way as to veer us from our path. We must love in spite of the things which happen to us. To stand out as a believer in Christ, we must be willing to endure.

 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. (Hebrews 10:36)

It's all about focus. If our focus is on ourselves, then we will not be able to endure. The first discomfort, inconvenience, disappointment, or heartbreak will send us off to recover. We want to avoid these negatives in our lives, because we don't deserve them. But love says endure it. Be patient. keep your focus on Jesus, and remember His promises. Remember how much He endured to save you and realize that this suffering is temporary. Though at times it may feel like forever that you've been suffering through it, this momentary lapse is just a blip in the face of eternity. So today, I pray that you will endure whatever is troubling you and act in the love that shows patience.




Fruit of the Spirit: Love (Part 3)


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
(Galatians 5:22-23)

The First Fruit: Love (Continued...)

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. (Proverbs 23:7)

Change your mind and change your heart. If you cannot think loving thoughts toward another, or toward yourself, you will not be able to experience the change of heart that allows you to experience the kind of agape love that is a fruit of the spirit.

So how do we change our mind and what do we think on when we see others?

Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4)

When we encounter a gruff person, someone who is less than easy to love, our usual reaction is to protect ourselves from the harshness of the other person. We'll close up and look out for our own interests instead of looking at the other person's. Chances are the harder that person is to love, the more they need it. Chances are that their own gruffness is caused primarily because that person is closing up and using those spikes to protect their own, fragile heart. When someone is angry or hard to get along with, always try to find the reason way.

In order to do that, we have to stop looking out for our own interests and look out for the interest of the other person. Look beyond their outward appearance and find out what they need. Love then becomes an action as we consider prayerfully how to fulfill it.

What if, while we are trying to fulfill that gruff person's need, they abuse us or mistreat us?

If we are grafted in Jesus the way that we are supposed to be, then we find our joy and our comfort in Him. He fulfills our needs to the point of overflowing. And that overflow is supposed to splash on those around us. If our lives are full of Jesus, then we do not need to be filled by anyone else. So what this person does to us or their response to our attempts at filling their needs should not be a total surprise.

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (Matthew 10:6)

In order to be wise and cunning, we should pray from the start that the reaction of the person is revealed to us so that there aren't any surprises. And if we expect no love in return, we will not be disappointed, either. It's hard to give and get nothing in return, but remember that we are working toward Heaven, and find the source of our strength in Him.

So to change our mind about someone, we need to look past their faults and see their needs. And then when we fulfill their needs, we need to look for no reward, and no thanks. Through these changes of mind, we can begin to see what it's like to love someone who we previously thought was unloveable. And our love might be just what an unloveable person needs in order to change their mind, as well--though that shouldn't be our goal. Today, I pray that we make our goal to change ourselves and to change our minds so that we can feel the love of God toward others, and let the overflow splash upon them.