The Fruit of the Spirit – Love

Photo by Thijs van der Weide

Last week I wrote about ‘The fruit of the Spirit’. Continuing on in that same vein, today we look at Love.

Jesus said in Mark 12:29-31 that the two greatest commandments were to “Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and the second is to love your neighbour as yourself.”

Love is a key trait of a Christian bearing the mark of the Holy Spirit within.

How is love described in Scripture?

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 describes love as “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, 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.”

1 John 4:8 says that God is love. He is the source. Love is the core of who God is. It cannot be separated from anything he does.

Romans 5:8 and John 3:16 give us the greatest expression of His love. While we were still sinners Christ died for us. God sent His son Jesus to the cross for us so that we do not perish but have eternal life.

God’s love is often described as Agape love.

What is agape love?

It is the unconditional, immeasurable and incomparable love that he has for us. It is the highest form of love. A pure, sacrificial, committed and faithful love. This love is not born out of emotions or feelings and it does not change. It takes delight in the objects of its love. This kind of love is expressed through actions which God displayed by sending his son to the cross for us. Agape in the Bible also refers to “love feast,” a common meal in the early church expressing Christian brotherhood and fellowship.

Why should we love?

We love because he loved us first (1 John 4:19). If we are in Christ, we are to live in love, there is no separating one’s life from operating out of love that flows from Christ and is evident towards others.

Jesus told his followers to love one another in the same sacrificial way he loved them.

1 John 3:16 says “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

What would be the outcome of this kind of love?

Others would be able to recognize them as Jesus’s disciples. A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34)

1 Corinthians 16: 14 says “Do everything in love”. We as followers of Christ are to live a life reflecting Christ like love, but this sort of agape love is not ingrained in us, it does not come naturally to us. It comes from God, the indwelling of the spirit produces in us this love. Only through Him can we begin to show agape love to others.

And that sort of Christ like love is not confined to mere words alone but must be evident in action. 1 John 3:18 says “Let us not love with words or tongue but with action and truth.”

1 John 4:20 says “If anyone says, I love God, yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen cannot love God.” Therefore, if we are to love God, we are to love others. Love for others is an essential component of love for God. But to love others well we need to first love God well.

What does loving God look like?

1 John 5:3 says “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.”

Jesus said in John 14:21 “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.”

To love God is to walk in His ways. When we walk in His ways, we gradually grow in putting our ‘self’ aside so that Christ can take centre stage. Our desires become more aligned to God’s will.

God does not force us to love Him. He desires for us to do so. Romans 12:9 says that “Love must be sincere”.

Not for appearances, not for gain, but in response to a love so freely gained we pour out a love we cannot raise up on our own.

To say you love God, but intentionally fail to follow through with a life daily lived acknowledging He is your Lord in every way – would that be sincere love?

When we obey God, it reflects our love for Him. An obedient submission to Him in all our ways would mean loving Him with all of our heart. Our hearts can be deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9) and our sinful nature can lead us to setting our desires on things other than God. As Mathew 6 warns – Where our treasure is there our heart will also be and we cannot serve two masters.

So, how can we love God with all our hearts?

In Ezekiel 18:31, the Lord spoke to Israel and said “Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed and get a new heart and a new spirit.”

A new heart – why does God talk about a new heart? As God says to Jeremiah in Jer 24:7 “I will give them a new heart to know me, that I am the Lord.”

It is the Lord who can give us an undivided heart to seek Him and desire to follow Him. To grow in your love for God with a consistent, obedient and passionate heart for Him – ask Him. From that, will flow a Christ like love for others.

1 Thessalonians 3:12 says “May the Lord make your love increase.” We are called to love God first and love others. The closer our walk with God, the more we see the fruit of the spirit grow in us. We are to do everything in love, but as our sinful nature is in conflict with the spirit, our desires are not aligned with God’s, unless He gives us a new and undivided heart. Walk in obedience so that God can continue to shape our hearts that desires Him and loves Him with all that we got and enables us to show the love of Jesus to others.

God Bless.

26 thoughts on “The Fruit of the Spirit – Love

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  1. I am glad Jesus set an example on how to love. God has been teaching me that love must be the root of everything. It is action! Consistently putting it into action regardless of how we feel is where our growth in Christ happens. Thanks Manu 🤗

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Me too Dawn. Love should be the root of all we do. Not an easy thing but we know that if we are willing God does indeed shape us to be more Christ like. I like what you said about consistently putting it into actions does help with our growth in Christ.
      Thank you Dawn 🤗🌺

      Liked by 2 people

  2. There are so many golden nuggets in this post. One thing that really hit me was when you said that love cannot be separated from anything God does. Wow. To think of it like that, it is a good reminder of His goodness to us. How can we ever doubt?
    I like that you pointed out, “And that sort of Christ like love is not confined to mere words alone but must be evident in action.“ What a strong statement and reminder that love should be our life’s mission.
    I also appreciated what you said about loving God by obeying Him. Last week I heard Charles Stanley emphasize this as well. So you definitely gave me something to think about because loving an infinite God can seem out of reach sometimes. But the answer is right there. And I love how you said that we can ask God for a passionate heart for Him. So beautiful and yet so simple too. If we are struggling to love, we can seek God in prayer. He will not let us down!
    Thank you for this encouraging post, my friend. May we learn to love as Jesus did! Blessings, Manu! 💜✝️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Bridget 🤗.
      Loving God and reflecting that to others should indeed be our life’s mission.
      I agree with you that loving an infinite God can seem so out there and also loving others as Christ loved us feels so impossible. I remind myself to just do what scripture says and so focus on obedience to God. And loving God well will shape us to love others better. Because only God can transform us.
      Blessings to you dear friend 💙🌺😊

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This is a necessary post, Manu! Love is who we are and what we do. I am reminded daily how short I fall in loving well. God’s love is perfect and holy and I take comfort knowing that each day is a new opportunity to love like Christ, to be like Christ. Obedience is so taboo in our society today and I appreciate you so much for your heart for obeying God as shown in this series and in your Jeremiah series. Praise God for the new heart He has given us now so that we will be with Him forever in eternity. Love, hugs and blessings Manu! You are such a gift!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Spending time writing this post really brought to the forefront of how short I fall when it comes to living a life of love that Christ wants from us. I agree Mandy, obedience and having godly boundaries are not viewed as good or necessary because usually they are viewed as restrictive.
      Thank you so very much Mandy for your kind words.
      Hugs and blessings to you too 🤗💙

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I so agree with you, it is not easy at all to love others with a Christ like love. Our focus has to be submitting to Him so he can enable us to be more like Him.
      Thank you and blessings to you 😊🌺

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I did a Bible study years ago that suggested we pray that God would grow our love for Him, similar to what you’ve shared. I hadn’t thought about it for awhile, but it would definitely be good to get into the habit of praying for that again. Thanks, Manu!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The fruit of the Spirit – Love is a great topic and post. When we open our hearts to the Holy Spirit, we can learn to love, share love, and spread Christian love, Christ-like love.
    The other important part of Chrisitan love is; “Let us not love with words or tongue but with action and truth.” As the song says; They will know we are Christians by our love.
    Love and blessing, Manu! 💗🌷🌺

    Liked by 1 person

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