I realize that love is a word that is thrown around carelessly in today’s society. Teenagers fall in love every ten minutes. My son corrects me when I say I love his backpack. Love has been watered down to be fairly meaningless until you experience real love, the love of God.
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8 NIV)
God is love. Wow. That is a concept that I think we have trouble wrapping our minds around. But the scripture above is pretty clear about its application. If any action is not an act of love, you can be sure that God is not a part of it. And if love is in the mix, the scripture implies that God is there also.
So if we believe all of that to be true, then it seems that any ministry that is done for God (yes, I know what I said) is done in love. From huge clothing drives and construction projects to helping an old lady across the street, any of these things done in love produce holy fruit.
As I look over the rest of the list, it is obvious that none of the fruit of the spirit can produce fruit without an element of love in them. Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control all come from a place of love, from a heart of service to God. So all of the fruit that we have discussed in this series have all been produced through love.
So if you are keeping score at home, that means than any and all fruit that come from the Spirit of God, the holy fruit that we should seek to produce with every breath, is produced through love. What does love look like? There really is no description I can provide that is better than 1 Corinthians 13. And since I often overlook that passage because it puts me to sleep at weddings, let’s all take some time and pray our way through it.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a NIV)
Yeah…if we do that, we will be fruitful. God is love. Let’s try to be more like Him.