March 10: (1) LOVE – Fruit of the Spirit

This morning, let me first begin by stating that over the next few days, during our daily thoughts, we will expound on “The Fruit of the Spirit”. May I prefix today’s thoughts by encouraging you to ask God and the Holy Spirit to fill you with His fruit and allow the very light of Jesus to shine from within and radiate His glory in and through our entire being. Live your life in the Holy Spirit, producing fruit – the Fruit of the Spirit. Yes…you must choose daily whom you will serve. I choose Jesus as my Savior!

Galatians 5:16 – 21, So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. The Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions but when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God (NLT).

The Fruit of the Spirit will be produced in the man or woman who is living their life in the Spirit. Galatians 5:24 – 26, Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another (NLT). Jesus gave us the great commandment stated in Matthew 22:37, Jesus replied, “You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind (NLT). The fruit of the Spirit comes from God, his love for us, and our love for him. Love is to be in all we do.

Now on to today’s thought, The Fruit of the Spirit is Love… Our dependency is on Jesus Christ and His finished work in His resurrection …we must live by faith being guided by the Holy Spirit; for He is our teacher and will lead us into all truth. We CANNOT become perfect by our own efforts…it will take being obedient to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and allowing Him to direct our lives as stated in: Galatians 3:3, How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? (NLT). The Fruit of the Spirit should and will follow the believer. Galatians 5:22 – 23, But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things (NLT)!

Love for God should become a natural thing in our lives…a way of life. A life living in the Holy Spirit…a changed life. Jesus gave us the great commandment stated. In Matthew 22:37, Jesus replied, “You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind” (NLT).

Three pieces of evidence that people do not love God are:
1. Use of His name in vain
2. Lack of appreciation for His blessings
3. Lives given to the works of the flesh.
When conversion takes place in one’s life, there becomes a new awareness of God’s love. 1 John 4:19 states We love each other as a result of his loving us first. We must be careful not to conform to this world…and lose our first love… a daily relationship with Him…putting Him first in all that we do…our reason for living.

Never let your love for God cool down. Stay passionately in love with God. Revelation 2:2 – 5, I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches (NLT).

There will be a love for the family of God. Yes…this is a unique new relationship, a whole company of brothers and sisters – born into God’s family by faith in Christ. Proof of new life will be evident…in the believer. “Love one to another.” John 13:34 -35, A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another (KJV). Leviticus 19:33-34, And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. 34 [But] the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I [am] the LORD your God (KJV). 1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not [his] brother abideth in death (KJV).
Today…there is a lack of love shown in many churches…the Galatians had once loved one another…when legalism came, love left…this will result in destroying one another…1 Galatians 5:15, But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another (KJV).

LOVE MUST be above all things…the reason for all things!
LOVE is a subject that has life changing power…Power to change your attitude…
Love conquers all bickering and brings blessings. Power to change your marriage.
LOVE suffers long (love reacting): Puts up with many things. Power to change your church…
LOVE builds fellowship and restores faith. Power to change your future… LOVE draws together and brings lost sinners to salvation.

The Holy Spirit causes us to be like Jesus…we will have LOVE for the lost…The Lord had a love for the sinners…He came to seek and save the lost…as stated in: Luke 19:10, For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost (KJV).

LOVE for the lost should be evident to the person filled with the Spirit. In Luke 15:2 He was criticized for loving sinners. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them (KJV).
His death for sinners proved His love…as stated in: Romans 5:8, But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (KJV). The Spirit Filled person will love the sinner and minister to them!

7 ways to recognize the love of Christ in us. 1 Corinthians 4-8
1. Love is patient and kind
2. Love is neither touchy nor angry
3. Love is never selfish
4. Love thinks no evil. Hardly notices when others do it wrong
5. Love rejoices not in iniquity. Never glad about injustice
6. Love believeth all things. Instead of looking for little faults.
7. Love expects the best. Reaching out in love brings results…

Love reaches more people than logic.
Love reaches more people than tact.
Love reaches more people than training.
Love reaches more people than good arguments.

We must love people as they are. This is how Jesus loved. His love can make them what they ought to be. Signs of being consumed with the love of Jesus…
1. Fresh love and hunger for Jesus and the Word of God.
2. Burning hunger and compassion to win souls.
3. Tender compassion for other believers in Christ, to flow together in love and unity and not reject the hurting, wounded, or rejected within the body of Christ!
4. Will look beyond the faults of others and see their need to be accepted, loved, and not rejected!
–> Experiencing the fresh love of our Heavenly Father, daily, whose love for us is far greater than our love for His should be our greatest desire!

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