Galatians 5:22-23 ESV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
The first thing that I want to point out is that the word fruit, in our scripture, is singular. It is one Fruit.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are the qualities that make up the Fruit. There are not nine different fruits—it is a nine-part Fruit. The Fruit is like an orange, and inside the orange, there are numerous slices. So, imagine that each slice of the orange is one of the aspects of the Fruit of the Spirit.
The “fruit” of the Spirit is the expression of our renewed nature as it is seen by others.
Love is the first quality of the Fruit of the Spirit. Perhaps that’s because love is what enables us to develop the other qualities of the Fruit in our lives, paving the way for what God wants to do in our hearts.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love is the selfless, giving, devoted love of God and others. It’s an active display and compels us to put others' needs above our own. Love honors others and celebrates truth no matter how difficult it is to hear it. It gives of self even when it doesn’t feel like it. Love doesn’t allow feelings to dictate its choices. Love is hopeful, persevering, and trusting. Loving people keep hatred, apathy, and self-preservation far from them.
Without Love Nothing Else Really Matters
1 Corinthians 13:1-2 ESV If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
God’s love does not discriminate but pours itself out on friends and enemies alike. God’s love is not motivated by human merit.
Romans 5:8, 10 ESV but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
God’s love is self-giving and self-denying.
1 John 4:8 ESV Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
When God's Spirit is at work in a person, amazing things happen. The person's whole life blossoms and bears beautiful fruit. And the most wonderful fruit of all is the giving and receiving of true love.
John 13:34-35 (ESV)34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Above All, Before All, And Through It All—Love One Another. It seems obvious and sounds trite, but it is true: love is the answer to nearly any question. In all things, err on the side of love. By doing so, you’ll brighten the life of anyone you’re involved with, and as you practice living the way Jesus taught, you’ll see more of him in your friends, and they’ll see more of him in you.
Without Love, You’ve Wasted Your Time
By Rick Warren
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1 NIV).
Love is our greatest aim in life because we were put here on earth to learn to love God and others. The Bible makes it clear in the first few verses of 1 Corinthians 13 why love is the most important value.
Without love, all that you say is ineffective. “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1 NIV). Words without love are just noise. People resent and reject unloving words. But they will listen and respond to words spoken in love.
Without love, all that you know is incomplete. “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge . . . but do not have love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2 NIV). The world is exploding with information and knowledge. Yet many of our most basic problems are not being solved, because the world is not looking for more knowledge. The world is looking for love.
Without love, all that you believe is insufficient. “If I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2 NIV). Many people have the misconception that being a Christian is just about believing certain truths and doctrines. But do you love Jesus? Do you realize he loves you? Christianity is about experiencing the love Jesus has for you and learning how to love like him.
Without love, all that you give is insignificant. “If I give all I possess to the poor . . . but do not have love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3 NIV). There are all kinds of motivations for giving, including obligation or prestige or guilt. Just because you give doesn’t mean you’re doing it in love. You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.
Without love, all that you accomplish is inadequate. “If I were burned alive for preaching the Gospel but didn’t love others, it would be of no value whatever” (1 Corinthians 13:3 TLB). You can have all kinds of great accomplishments. You can even sacrifice your life for the greatest cause in the world—the Kingdom of God—but without love, it’s wasted effort.
You can have the eloquence of an orator, the knowledge of a genius, the faith of a miracle worker, the generosity of a philanthropist, and the dedication of a martyr. But if you don’t love, it doesn’t count.
The good news is that you can love others because God first loved you. Jesus says that as you live within his love, he will help you to love others. When you draw closer to him, your ability to love will increase—he makes it possible for you to live out the calling to love others.
Dear Lord, Teach Me To Love Others The Way You First Loved Me. As I Build Relationships With Others, Let Them See You In The Extent Of My Generosity, The Authenticity Of My Kindness, And The Depths Of My Love. All Of Those Things Are Only Possible Through You, The God Who Abides With Me And Calls Me Friend. Amen.