The post below was written by my dear friend and fellow worker in Christ Jesus who chose to remain anonymous. She is a beautiful woman of God, a wife and mother who has an insatiable desire for the things of God. She has been at my side since the inception of this blog serving as my accountability partner and content editor. I bless God for her life.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1John 4:7-8 (NIV)
The Apostle John tells us three important truths in the verse above:
- Everyone who loves is born of God
- We should love one another because love is of God
- He who does not love does not KNOW God
A great way to measure our spiritual growth and test whether we are in the faith is by closely examining our love walk on a continual basis.
Our love walk is a clear sign that not only are we born again, but that we know God and are growing in our knowledge of Him.
The Greek word for love used in these verses is agape, which is the highest form of love. It means self-less, unconditional, God-kind of love. Believers in Jesus are commanded to love people, not based on how we feel at the moment or whether they deserve it or not. On the contrary, we love people because:
- God has loved us unconditionally (Ephesians 5:1-2).
- We love God (1 John 4:11).
- Our desire as God’s children is to please Him (John 14:21).
We are commanded to love
In John 15:12, Jesus commands us to love one another as He has loved us. In John 13:34-35, he takes it further by telling us an important truth: his disciples will be identified by the visible demonstration of their love for one another!
Meditate and ponder on 1 John 4:20, then reflect on these questions.
Can we truly say we love God……..
- but can’t stand our sister/brother in Christ?
- but are quick to gossip, back bite, harbor envy and remain unforgiving in our hearts toward one another?
- yet viciously attack with our words and thoughts people who have hurt us instead of responding according to Matthew 5:44?
- and refuse to respond in obedience to His instructions on how to live our lives by His word?
In Matthew 22:38-40 Jesus gave us two commandments. “Love God with all of your being and love your neighbor as yourself.”
We understand that to love God is to obey Him. To love people is to treat everyone in a manner that demonstrates the presence of the fruit of Spirit in our lives (Galatians 5: 22-23, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8). To treat people this way is to obey God (1Corinthians 16:14, Hebrews 13:1).
As our love for God grows and our knowledge of Him deepens, so should our obedience to Him increase (Philippians 1:9-11). The way we treat others should reflect our ever increasing love for our God. Our hearts should become more tender and responsive to the leading of His Holy Spirit in us, never making excuses to remain in willful disobedience to the One whom we say we love.
One of the ways to determine if we are growing spiritually is to examine our selves in this area. We should be able to look back and see if we are growing in our obedience to Him and therefore growing in our love for Him, and our love for all people.
TEST YOURSELF TODAY!!!
Except where indicated, Scriptures are taken from the NIV.
Other posts on Fruit of the Spirit:
- Beauty in Christ: The Fruit of the Spirit
- 15 Practical Tips for Maintaining Peace
- Walking in the Fruit of Self-control