“But the fruit of the Spirit is love .. “
The fruit of the Spirit is made up of different segments but is one fruit, rather like an orange. Unlike the gifts which are separate, and where different gifts may be given to different people, each believer is intended to have the complete fruit of the Spirit become a reality in his or her life.
Just as the defining aspect of God’s character is that “God is love”, so we would expect that it would also become the one thing that stands out most in our new and God-given identity. This is highlighted by the fact that the two Great Commandments, and the new commandments given by Jesus to His disciples, have love as their foundation.
We cannot create love within ourselves, certainly not of the depth, height, width and breadth of God’s love. So, God has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit to transform our lives. One of His primary ministries is to develop within us, and to show through us, the great love of God.
“because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:5)
Note that it is not just love that is poured into our hearts, but “His Love” – God’s love. We receive God’s love for ourselves as well as the love of God for others. And, just as a tree or vine bears fruit that is seen by and is received by others, so our fruit is expected to be perceived by and become a blessing to others. This was the model of Jesus and is to be ours as well. He made that clear when He told us to be the light of the world.
“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
The first step is to believe in God’s love. The second is to receive God’s love. The third is to conceive God’s love for others. The final step is to deliver His love around us. All of this is the work of the Holy Spirit as we allow Him to move and work within us. And it should become the most remarkable quality of any group or gathering of Christians.
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)
The love is there – ask God to develop and increase it – and practice living it.
Father, please fill me with Your love and let me become more of a person of love. Amen.