The fruit of the Spirit is love.
The past few weeks haven’t been easy, both for me personally and also for my local community.
But through all the challenges, these two thoughts have been on my mind:
Abide in Me.
The fruit of the Spirit is love.
Over and over, those words washed over me like a soundtrack on repeat.
Abide in Me. The fruit of the Spirit is love. Abide in Me. The fruit of the Spirit is love.
Even so, that endless loop made me wonder: why love? Why is the very first aspect of the Spirit’s fruit love and not something else, like holiness, joy, or faith?
I don’t have a great answer, but these words jumped out at me as I was reading Absolute Surrender last week, a book by the South African preacher Andrew Murray, who lived in the late 1800s. In Chapter 2 of that book, he also grapples with the question “Why is the Fruit of the Spirit Love?”
“Because God is love (1 John 4:8). God’s nature is to be always giving [and He] delights to pour His love into us. […] Love is God’s gift. Without [the Spirit in us] we cannot live the daily life of love… God, keep me from saying anything that would be unloving; God, shut my mouth if I am not to speak in tender love.
God’s love brings unity. …The Spirit of God has come to make our daily life an exhibition of divine power and a revelation of what God can do for His children. …Only that is true love that is large enough to take in all God’s children: the most unloving and unloveable, the unworthy, and unbearable, and trying.
Let love fill your heart. Ask Christ to pour it out afresh into you every day. …The fruit of the Spirit is love. God, help us understand it.”
Would you join me this week in praying for God’s Spirit to work His love in us?
From the podcast…
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12 NIV
Let’s begin by Reciting God’s Goodness, praising Him for who He is and what He has done in our lives…
O Loving God, how great is Your love! From patiently training Your disciples, to eating with social outcasts, to healing the incurable, to dying for my sins. You’ve always exuded love, precious Jesus, even toward me. Thank You!
- “In the next few moments, praise God for how He has shown His goodness in your life recently.”
We continue by Expressing Our Neediness, confessing our need for Him and His forgiveness.
Lord, give me power to grasp Your great love, and fill up my heart to overflow into the lives of those around me. I want to love with my actions, not just my words; empower me through Your Spirit to show Your abundant love toward those who mistreat me as well as those in my own household. May I be known for my great love to all.
- “In the next few moments, confess to God how you have failed to [love Him and love others], and express your desire to abide in Him, so that His Spirit may bear much fruit in your life.”
Now we move into a time of Seeking His Stillness, becoming aware of God’s loving presence surrounding us and filling us this very moment.
Take a few moments to ponder just how much God has loved you, from the moment you were conceived, to those moments you were running from Him, to this moment right now.
Finally, let’s Trust God’s Faithfulness. Declare your confidence in God’s faithfulness to produce fruit in your life, to preach to your own heart and soul that He is trustworthy and He will take care of what you entrust to Him.
Lord God, it’s Your steadfast love that is new every morning, and Your perfect love that casts out fear. Thank You for so patiently working Your love in me through Your Spirit. How great is Your love, Lord, to call me Your own! I just want to tell You that I love You too!
- If you’ve been blessed by this week’s prayer podcast or blog post, please tell someone about it. You share from iTunes and Stitcher, or share a screenshot on Instagram or Facebook– however it’s easiest for you!
If you’d like some additional reading this week, check out these passages:
- Romans 14:1–15
- Ephesians 3:16–17 and 4:2
- Philippians 2:1–3; 1
- John 3:1–2 and 4:7–12