Galatians 5:22; 1 John 4:7-21
Love is the first fruit I will be studying. God has made it very clear throughout the Bible that we are to love: we are to love God with every part of us, and we are to love everyone around us. This week, I am going to look at a few places where God gave us the command to love. You see, since God commands us to love, it leaves me to believe that love is not just a feeling, but it is a decision. I am not writing about romantic love, I am writing of the love that is expected in every believer’s heart. I also feel that when we begin to allow the Spirit to work in our hearts and we can love the way God would like us to love, all the other fruits will fall into place.
Let’s look at why God would consider love so important; please turn to 1 John 4:16. What does this verse say who God is? God is love. Knowing that God is love, please go back a few verses to 1 John 4:7-8. John wrote very clearly that if we know God, we will show love and if we do not love, we don’t know God. In verse 11 John wrote, “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” God is love and has shown us the greatest love we could ever know, so we can see why God would want us to love. John also writes in verses 19-20a, “We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar.” Our ability to truly love is limited until we accept the love He has extended to us.
John sums it all up in verse 21, “And He has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” John also wrote more on the subject; please look up I John 3:16-18. I want to focus especially on verse 18, “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” Our love cannot just be a verbal tribute; when we truly love we will be put into action. We will see the needs around us and do something. Love may be an action that requires forgiveness or understanding. Love is more than feeling good about someone; it is giving of ourselves to those around us. We are thinking of how our actions will affect the person next to us. God told us that if we love Him, then we will love our brother.
Are you choosing to love those around you?