As we have been looking at the Spiritual Fruit found in Galatians 5:22-23, we see that the first Fruit listed is LOVE. In today’s Bible Journaling verse, we see that love is the first commandment. “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” (Mark 12:30 KJV) The Christian Standard Bible says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”
Love is the opposite of hate and we must learn to live on the positive side of life. If we have not become Born-Again it is more difficult to show forth that love because we don’t have God’s love flowing through us.
It seems that love is the most important Fruit of the Spirit. Without it, we can’t accomplish growing the rest of the Fruits. Without love we can’t be kind, good, faithful, or gentle, we have no patience and self-control is pretty much non-existent. Because of that, we have no joy or peace…all because we do not love. In some instances, we don’t even love ourselves. Verse 31 tells us we are to love others as we love ourselves, therefore, if we don’t love ourselves, how can we love others? All of this comes when we love God first!
Loving God first begins when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. When we become a Born-Again Child of God, His love fills us, and we begin to cultivate the Fruit of Love. Because of His love for us, we can begin to love ourselves the way He loves us. When we see ourselves as He sees us, we find that we have worth, we find that we are worth being loved, and then we can begin to love ourselves. When we begin to love ourselves, we can then begin to love others. As we allow that love to flow through us to those around us, we begin to exhibit the Fruit of Love and then the other Fruits begin to grow and blossom in our lives.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 gives us a description of love, “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (NASB) That is a description of how God loves us, and we are to love in the same manner.
As I look at that description of love in 1 Corinthians, I see the Fruits of the Spirit. Love is patient…that is a Spiritual Fruit. Love is kind, another Spiritual Fruit. Not being jealous, braggadocios or arrogant shows the Fruits of Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. Love does not take a tally of things done wrong to us or is happy when bad things happen to others…again, the Fruits of Goodness, Gentleness, and Kindness are shown. All of these can also be shown in the Fruit of Faithfulness…faithfulness to God and others. Love is happy in truth revealed, and it is strong enough to endure through hard times.
Love should be the basis of all we do, think, and are. It is at the very depths of our being and we can show it out when we love God and allow His love to flow through us. When we ask forgiveness for our sins, ask Jesus to come live inside of us and live through us and accept His sacrificial death on the cross for our sins, He fills us with His Holy Spirit and His love. Then we can love others as we allow His love to flow through us.