For the last couple of days, I have written about the fact that the church in Colosse struggled with the culture affecting the church in negative ways. The church was struggling with the combination of various thoughts and philosophies mixing in with the truth of God's message of hope. The mixing of all these beliefs became known as Gnosticism and it caused confusion for the believers in the Colosse church. I challenged all of you to think of how the culture is affecting the church in your country and immediate community. Yesterday, I looked at how Paul wrote that the message of the Gospel was bearing fruit around the world and I ended with the thought that instead of the culture affecting the church, the church should be affecting the culture. For the next few days, I want to explore how it is that the fruit of the Gospel changes the world around us. Please read Colossians 1:6-8.
Just to get back to where we left off, we see that the "Good News" or the Gospel was (and is) changing lives all around the world just as we have experienced a life change when we believed this message of hope. That hope is based on the fact that we will one day have a better life with no more sorrow or pain and we will be with our amazing Creator. That is a hope that helps grow our faith and it is through Jesus that all of this is possible. When we have faith and believe that our salvation comes through Jesus, we are told in the Bible that we receive the Holy Spirit (Galatians 3:2). In Colossians 1:8 we see that it is through the Holy Spirit that we are given the ability to love others.
I Corinthians 13 is an incredible chapter on what godly love looks like. Every time I read this chapter I see how I need to change to show more of God's love to the people around me. This chapter opens with the challenge to all believers that we may do the things that seem good, but if the motive is anything other than love for others, it is of no gain in us. It is when we allow God's love to work in us to love others that we gain life change. This chapter tells us that love is patient, kind, it never gives up, it never loses faith, it is always hopeful, and it endures through every circumstance. I would encourage you to read through this whole chapter because it also lists several things that love is not. When you think about the list of what love is, you can see that love really does have the power to change the world around us. When we are showing the fruit of love to the people around us, they will want to know why you can love. That is an opportunity to share the hope you have in Christ. And it is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that this fruit of love is grown in our lives.
The last few days, I have written how hope helps grow our faith and love; please read what 1 Corinthians 13:13 says about love: "Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love." (NLT) The greatest of all is love. Perhaps this is because the Bible tells us that God is love and it is through His awesome love for us that we can have eternal life (1 John 4:7-9).
How is the Holy Spirit having love manifest itself in your life? Is your love having an affect on the people you are around?
This post is linked with iFellowhsip Blog Hop and Word Filled Wednesday.