Fruit of the Spirit!
Fruit of the Spirit- Love.
A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I
have loved you, tha tyou also love one another. By this shall all men
know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.
What do you think of when you hear the word love? What does it mean to love someone
The scriptures give us many definitions and descriptions of what it means to truly love
In I Corinthians 13:4-8, love is described as this:
1 Cor. 13:1-13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am
only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can
fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body
to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not
envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily
angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the
truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never
fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will
be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we
prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a
child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a
man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then
we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully
known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is
Love is the only thing that will remain in eternity. Faith and hope will no longer be needed
because the object of our faith, Jesus Christ, will be there with us. We will no longer need
hope because our hope of eternal life will be a reality. But love never dies.
The kind of love described here is selfless, not "showy." It is not about the size of the
bouquet of flowers or the cost of a gift, instead it is the person showing love by putting
the needs and wants of other in front of or instead of their own needs and wants.
How important is love? Love is essential to all things that are good.
How long does true love last? This love is ever lasting/ eternal. It does not go away when
someone angers you.
In John 14:21, Christ asks His disciples to show their love to God in the following way:
He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that
loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Keeping the commandments is showing love to God. In this passage, love is obedience. We
see a similarity to many of our personal relationships. For example, obeying our parents is a
sign of our love for them.
Who does Christ call us to love? Luke 6:35 tells us, "But love your enemies, and do good,
and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward shall be great, and you shall be
the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.Why do you
think He asks us to do this?"
Christ calls us to love our enemies. He explains that anyone can love those who are easy
to love, but to love those who are not easy to love is true love (the kind of love God
shows to us even though we are not always obedient and focused on Him)
But what is love? God is love. Jesus Christ is love incarnate. The Gospel gives us many
examples of Christ's love. He performed many miracles healing the blind, sick, and the
paralyzed. Shortly before he was crucified, Christ gave his disciples a new commandment,
"That you _love one another, as I have loved_ you…By this all will know that you are My
disciples, if you have __love_ for one another." (John 13:34-35) Christ gave his disciples a
very difficult task! He loves us so much that He gave His life so that we can enter the
kingdom of heaven.
Unlike the temporary and flashy love of our society, Christ calls us to love each other as
He loves us….by being quiet and unselfish, obedient, and sacrificial (not necessarily in
flesh, but by giving up the things that matter to us in the name of loving others). It's a tall
task, but let's talk about ways to live up to the challenge:
Ways to "walk in the Spirit":
Think about the definitions of love you have gathered from the Scriptures and Christ's life.
-Love is quiet and does not draw attention to itself.
-Love is eternal and lasts forever.
-Love is truly obedient to others.
-Love means putting the needs and wants of others before what we want.
Brainstorm a list of people or ways that you could nurture the seed of love in you.
Quotes in Scripture on Love
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever
believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 15:13 Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
1 John 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in
Heb 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good
Quotes from the Church Fathers
*Faith is the beginning of love; the end of love is knowledge of God. "Instructions to
Cenobites and Others", Abba Evagrius, "Early Fathers From the Philokalia," translated
from the Russian text, "Dobrotolubiye," by E. Kadloubovsky and G.E.H. Palmer, eighth
edition, (London: Faber and Faber, Ltd., 1981), pp. 115 - 116.
*God is love. So he who wishes to define this tries with bleary eyes to measure the sand
in the ocean. St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent,"
*He who has love in Christ must observe the commandments of Christ. The binding
power of the love of God - who is able to set it forth? The radiance of His beauty - who
can voice it to satisfaction? The sublimity to which love leads up is unutterable. Love
unites us with God, love covers a multitude of sins; love endures everything, is
long-suffering to the last; there is nothing vulgar, nothing conceited, in love; love creates
no schism; love does not quarrel; love preserves perfect harmony. In love all the elect of
God reached perfection, apart from love nothing is pleasing to God. In love the Master
took us to Himself. Because of the love which He felt for us, Jesus Christ Our Lord gave
His Blood for us by the will of God, His Body for our bodies, and His soul for our souls. St.
Clement of Rome, Epistle to the Corinthians
*Such is the power of love: it embraces, and unites, and fastens together not only those
who are present and near, and visible, but also those who are distant. And neither time,
not separation in space, nor anything else of that kind, can break up and divide in pieces
the affection of the soul. St. John Chrysostom
*If the face of a loved one clearly and completely changes us, and makes us cheerful,
gay and carefree, what will the Face of the Lord do when He makes His Presence felt
invisibly in a pure soul? St. John Climacus, "The Ladder of Divine Ascent,"
*Knowledge which is imbued with life (as opposed to abstract knowledge) can in no wise
be confined to the intellect: there must be a real union with the act of Being. This is
achieved through love: 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart...and with all
thy mind' (Matt. 22:37). The commandment bids us love.
*Therefore love is not something given to us: it must be acquired by an effort made of
our own free will. The injunction is addressed first to the heart as the spiritual center of
the individual. Mind is only one of the energies of the human I. Love begins in the heart,
and the mind is confronted with a new interior event and contemplates Being in the Light
of Divine love. Archimandrite Sophrony (His Life is Mine: Part 2, Chapter 2; SVS Press pg.
*Love is a holy state of soul, disposing it to value knowledge of God above all created
things. St. Maximos the Confessor(First Century on Love no. 1)