Lesson 3: Knowing and Applying the Fruit of the Spirit - Love
Thought of the Lesson
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS LOVE
Is the Fruit of Love in you? Here is how you can find out. Take a careful look at your character and compare that to the fruit of love from God’s most precious Word by examining the passages below. Now ask yourself:
1. How do I exhibit Love in my daily life?
2. What can I do to develop a more loving attitude?
3. What blocks love from being expressed in me?
4. How can I make love function better, stronger, and faster, even in times of uncertainty and stress?
The general idea of Love is seeing and understanding God’s love for us by how He gives Himself. Love is unconditional and we are responding to Christ’s sacrifice for us with our trust and obedience, which produces our self-denial and self-giving. As a result, we are being charitable, selfless for the benefit of others in our life.
Love will enable us to appreciate our brothers and sisters in the Lord and, of course, our family and others around us. Love is taking the initiative to build up and meet the needs of others without expecting anything in return. Love desires to seek and apply what God has to say.
When you have the wrong idea and definition of love, it will negatively impact all those areas in your life. That is why it is important to understand what love is through God. What love is not is as important as what love is! (John 13:1; John 15:13; 1 Corinthians 13:3; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:2; Colossians 1:9-10; Colossians 3:12-17; 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10; 1 Thessalonians 5:8-13; 1 John 4:16; 1 John 5:2-3; 2 John 1:6)
The opposite of love is Hate, Lust, and Disgust. It covers the areas from disliking people who are different to deliberately seeking malice and destruction of what the Lord has for us! Not having real love will leave you empty and alone. Lust is not just the opposite, it is the counterfeit! Most people assume that love is the most important thing in a marriage, or the most important reason to get married. You will frequently hear people on TV, in the movies, out on the streets of life and even in the church saying, I do not need to work on love and relationships, it will just happen. And, if not, it was not meant to be, and I can get out of it if it does not work out. How sad that philosophy is! But, when you carefully examine love from the Bible, you will find that it is a choice over and against any feeling or aspiration of what we may want it to be or mean (Colossians 3:12-17; 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10; 5:8-13).
The Bible tells us that love is more than a feeling; it has segments and characters to it. Love is also a choice, a decision that must be pursued and worked on. In our human mind, we may see it as magical, as if it “just happened,” but, without pursuing its true meaning and character, it will vanish and waste away. So, when we do receive that spark of love that we cannot explain, to keep that magic, that romance, that spark going requires us to do something about it. If we do not work on it, the spark that was once there will vanish as quickly and as suddenly as it came. It will fade into the night, leaving us in the darkness of the maze of relationships, lost and confused.
The way we keep that flame from blowing out is our understanding and modeling our character in response to God's love towards us, working in and through us! Real, authentic Christian character is formed when you surrender to Christ and allow His work to grow and enrich you, so that the Spirit flows. Building and developing character is not something we just learn from a book or hear from a sermon. It does not come upon us in the night, or sneak up in the day. It does not come automatically, accidentally, or suddenly. It is a process that comes from being parented in it. Then it rests in us and in our motives. It is a slow process. You may not realize you have it until others point it out in you. Character is not permanent once it is formed. It requires our continual hold and practice, in His Word, through our prayers and the practice of His Fruit in and through us.
Our spiritual discipline, motives, obedience, and persevering faith will be the keys! All it takes is to be in love with Christ. Seek His presence and be persistent in your prayers.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25
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Note from Rev. Mirlande Besson:
The information that you will be learning are not written by me, but are studies that I myself have studied. I saved them and wanted to share this information with you so that you can know what I know and grow spiritually mature. I hope that you take advantage of this and become formidable spiritual warriors for Christ.