The first fruit of the Spirit is LOVE. It’s easy to roll past that and think that you know what you need to know about love. We talk about God’s love fairly often in church. Plus, we experience various types of love throughout our day via interaction with family and friends. However, love is actually a pretty deep subject, and it’s worth looking into. It’s the first of the fruit, so out of love comes peace, patience, joy, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Colossians 3 says, “Love binds all things together in perfect unity.” It binds the characteristics of God’s Spirit as well as the fruitfulness of God.
It’s obvious that love binds us to our family and friends. It binds us to the world and the things in life that we enjoy. Naturally, love binds us to our romantic interest. Unexpectedly, it binds us to our enemies. It binds the church body together, making it fruitful. But, ultimately, love binds us to our Lord. Psalms 23:6 says that love and goodness follows those who love the Lord. Our love for the Lord binds us to His goodness, His faithfulness, His patience, kindness, peace and joy. When we feel let down or upset, we will be revived if we can simply love the Lord. The Lord’s love is our refuge. His love embraces and rejuvenates us. It brings us comfort. God’s love is a banner over us.
It may seem difficult to love a being who isn’t physically present, but it’s actually incredibly easy to love the being who binds everything together. By loving anything that the Lord has given you and enjoying everything the Lord has placed in your path, you are expressing love to the Lord. God’s love stands firm, so we must learn to stand firm in His love. We can start by giving thanks for the love we receive. That means the love of the Lord, as well as the love of those who care for us. It also means offering thanksgiving to the Lord for all the things that we enjoy in life. Love seeks the face of God. It is actively seeking God: seeking his majesty and glory from within us individually. It is being fully known and still being accepted and appreciated. Love is greater than all things; even faith and hope in our Lord.
One of the most popular passages of love is 1 Corinthians 13. All the experiences in the world mean nothing without love. Knowledge and faith without love mean nothing. We gain only through selfless acts in love. Love is patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not proud or arrogant. Love is not rude or self-seeking. Love does not anger easily, meaning it is forgiving, full of grace and mercy. Love is truth. It protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres. It never fails. Love will always be, it will endure forever.
God is always working for our good. He never gives up on us, nor does He let harm come to us. Out of love, God gives us a path to follow and a purpose to pursue. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” He is compassionate for those He loves and finds delight in us. God is well pleased by those He loves.
Settle in to the beautiful, all encompassing love of our Lord that will leave you fully satisfied. Be compelled by the Lord who loves you. By being captivated by His love, you are expressing love to Him. He loves YOU dearly, so allow yourself to soak up His love.