The Apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians admonishing them to walk in the Spirit so they wouldn’t sin.
Some in the church were getting hung up on circumcision and whether it could grant them salvation. Some said you hadn’t received salvation without it. They needed guidance. They were entangled in legalism.
Paul summed it up simply in Galatians 5:14:
“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Verse 16 goes on to say:
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
There are nine fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.”
Today, we will look at the first fruit, love. What does it mean by fruit? Think of the Christian life as a tree.
Psalm 1:3 says it beautifully:
“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doth shall prosper.”
Jesus said in John 15:2: “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”
John 15:4 goes on to say, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches; He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
Isn’t that the truth?!
When I feel my “love cup” is empty or nearly spent, I ask God to please fill it up with His love. I know that I can only truly love others with the love that He gives me. The Bible says that my righteousness is as filthy rags. There is nothing good in me or in my natural ability, apart from the blessings of God in my life. Therefore, I realize that I am desperately dependent on God to help me to love others. It is only through His power and His supernatural ability being demonstrated through me, that I can love.
My love grows weary. My love gets worn out. My love is tested. My love is measured. My love is lacking and falls short.
But, God’s love? His love knows no bounds. It is limitless. God’s love endures forever! His love is from everlasting to everlasting.
When our love cup runs dry and those around us are pushing us to our limits, just ask God to refill your love cup. He’ll do it. I always ask God to help me to love others the way He would. It is easy to love those who are lovable. It’s not so easy to love those who are mean, disrespectful and rude. However, we should not repay evil for evil.
Galatians 5 is teaching us that in order to avoid succumbing to sin, we must bear the fruits of the Spirit. These are attributes of God’s very nature. As believers, we, too, can demonstrate God’s nature when we walk in love.
I Corinthians 13 is called “The Love Chapter”. I encourage you to read the entire chapter but I will quote verses 4-8, 13:
“Charity (love) suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunted not itself, is not puffed up. Doth not behave itself unseemly, seekers not her own, is not easily provoked, thinkers no evil. Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things; hopeth all things; endureth all things. Charity never fails…And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three, but the greatest of these is charity.”
Perhaps as you read through these verses, you can think of a way your love cup has suffered drought in your own life. Just ask God to help you and to bless you with grace and the ability to see others through His eyes. It will change your love walk. When we humble ourselves for a moment and ask for God’s help, He is faithful. He will not turn us away. No. He loves when His children come to Him and will surely fill our lives with the love we need in order to reach those in our world.
May we fill our minds and hearts with God’s Word in such a way that His love shines through to all those around us.
“And the greatest of these is love.”