VATIC Expressions: Truth, Transparency, Transformation
Volume 1, Fall 2015 Issue. A division of Vatic Publishing®, LLC.
The Fruit of Love
by Laura Frohmader
“The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self- control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
We know that “God is love” (1 John 4:16). Of course there are different kinds of love. The way we love our spouse is different than our love for a pet or our love of certain foods. Our love for our good friends is different than our love for hobbies or certain kinds of weather. God’s love, agape love, is immeasurable. He loves us so deeply that He willingly died to save us from our sins because He wants to enjoy our fellowship eternally in heaven. “Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love.” (John 13:1 (NIV)) The words “full extent” really stand out for me. His love is incomprehensible. He died to save a bunch of wayward sinners, because He loves us. It’s a good thing I’m not God. I would’ve said “forget you” and sent us all to hell to be rid of the wretched sinners.
I am reminded of my own sinfulness when I read 1 Corinthians 13 which tells us that love is patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not proud, not rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrong, does not delight in evil, and rejoices in truth. Love protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres. Love never fails (paraphrase of verses 4-8). I feel so unworthy when I read that list because I fail so often to show love instead of annoyance to my own family members. It’s a good thing we are all a work in progress and God is not finished molding me into the woman He wants me to be. I won’t give up trying to be more loving since God is working in me.
We are to love one another “earnestly with a pure heart.” (Peter 1:22) Love is fake if it is superficial. “Love must be without hypocrisy.” (Romans 12:9) We’ve probably all met people who appear to be loving, yet walk a different walk when they think no one is looking. When we realize what hypocrites they are, we find it difficult to trust them. They are not sincere. Though it is wise not to trust such people, we are told to “Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:27-28) That is what sets us apart from people of the world. We who belong to God, who have the Holy Spirit dwelling in our hearts, are capable of love toward our enemies. I have learned that when someone upsets me because they don’t live by God’s standards, I should feel sorry for them since they do not have the Spirit to guide them. I try not to get upset by their attitude of embracing what is evil in God’s eyes. Instead I want to pray for them and hope they turn from what is evil so they can someday enjoy eternity in heaven. We were all enemies of God at one time.
God saved us from our status as His enemy, knocked on the door of our hearts, and gave us faith to believe in His salvation. Our response to that is what Jesus commands, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37, 39)
“Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13) Of course God is great and “God is love.” (1 John 4:16)
All Bible quotes are from the Holmen Christian Standard Bible unless otherwise noted.
May this article bless you and the Holy Spirit speak to you of His Truth.
© 2015 Laura Frohmader