But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)
In these verses, the Apostle Paul describes nine characteristics that all Christians exemplify in their walk as believers. I don’t know about you, but in my case, all the ingredients may be present, but the meal hasn’t finished cooking yet.
Love Joy Peace Patience
The first virtue Paul mentions is the granddaddy of them all: Love.
As believers, we live under the law of grace, as the Mosaic Law was satisfied and fulfilled by the ministry and work of Christ. Love is the lead component of grace. Without love, Paul tells us, we have nothing. Love is the core ingredient from which all other blessings flow. When he was asked to name the greatest commandment, Jesus proclaimed that first, we are to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and secondly, we must love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Jesus even took it one step further by teaching us that we are to extend love to our enemies.
Because of His love for us, God initiates a relationship with us. Because of love, He pursues us. God loved us so much so that He paid the price for the wages of our sin through the sacrifice of Christ, removing the obstacles separating us from Him. While sin nailed Christ to the Cross, it was love that kept Jesus there. Now, by placing our faith and trust in Christ, we can have access to God and know what it is to live abundantly in His presence.
Love built the bridge reconnecting us to God.
While we were yet sinners, love rescued us. Love has redeemed us. Love has saved us. It is love that sanctifies us and continues its work in us so that all of the other virtues bloom and shine from our soul. It is love that gives salt its saltiness. It is love that fuels the light.
How Deep The Father’s Love For Us
Father God, may your love grow in me so that people may see You shine through me. Help me love You with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. Give me the ability to love others, friend or foe alike, with the fullness of love that You, Father, have shown me through your Son, Jesus Christ. Father God, may your Holy Spirit fuel love within me so that it radiates your Glory brightly.