So far we've looked at loving thy neighbor and thine enemies and loving God and not the things of this world. Today we wrap the series up with love as a fruit and our relationship with Christ.
Galatians 5:22-23 is one of my most favorite verses. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." Emphasis is mine. Notice that it says this is the fruit of the Spirit and not fruits. All of these attributes work together to form one. When you have the love, you'll have the joy. When you have the love and the joy, you'll experience peace. And so on. Love for our neighbors, love for our enemies, and love for God will come as a result of us walking in the Spirit! It will be a direct reflection of our relationship with Christ. If we're not experiencing this kind of love, then we need to examine where we sit with God. Have we neglected our study time? Have we stopped attending church? Are we caught up in "looking busy" instead of "serving Him"?
John 14:23-24 "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keeping not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me."
Our actions reflect our love for Christ. By us loving others, we show the world how we really feel about God's gift!
1 John 4:7-9 "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that ye might live through him."
Love is of God. When we love our neighbors and our enemies, we are proving that we do love God.
1 John 4:21 "And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also."
When Christ died on the cross, He showed us the greatest example.
John 15:13-14 "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."
If Christ was willing to die for us, to take our sins, to take our place.... why do we think we can pick and choose who we love? Why do we think we can decide who is worthy enough? Friends, none of us was worthy enough to be died for. Yet, Christ died for us. He demonstrated the greatest love possible!
We have a relationship with Christ because of His gift. It's our job to pass that love on. We won't be effective witnesses to others if we aren't loving.
Psalm 145:20 says "The Lord preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy."
The next time somebody asks you what love has to do with it, tell them a lot!