Read: Galatians 5:22-26
After we believe and trust in Jesus Christ, He gives us the Holy Spirit, who lives within us. It is the Spirit who produces this fruit in us as we abide in Him, and apart from Him, these things would be impossible for us to have in their purest form. This does not mean it is always easy to show these characteristics in our lives, but it does mean we are now able to respond in love or self-control or patience in difficult situations because we have the Spirit within us.
So today we are going to learn about love. Let’s see what God can show us through His Word! We want to discover together what love looks like for those who have God’s Spirit within them.
Read: Matthew 22: 37-39
Jesus says, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Jesus calls these two commands the greatest commandments! So love is not just a fruit of the Spirit, it is a command from God!
So how do we know what love looks like?
We know what love is by looking to God.
1 John 4:7-11 says this, “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. This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
1 John 3: 16 & 18 state, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers…let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”
So we know that love comes from God, God is love, and God showed His love to all of us by sending Jesus Christ to die for us so that we may know Him. We also know from 1 John that love is not just something we say, it is what we do. Jesus showed His great love for us by dying for us. We can show love to one another by putting others first and thinking of them more than ourselves, loving them like Christ loves us.
Before we can truly love others, we must know and love God. How do we keep the greatest commandment, to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind? (Discuss.) One major way to love God is to come to know Him more and more through His Word and through prayer. You know through His Word that God died for you and for me! This should cause us to overflow with love towards Him! As we come to know Him, learn from Him, and listen to His voice, we are abiding in Him. As we abide in Him and He in us, the fruit of love is produced in our lives.
After we learn that love is from God, His love for us and our love for Him can overflow into the people around us.
1 Corinthians 13:1-8a, 13 says this,
If I speak in the tonguesof men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 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 do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient,love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Circle each description of what love is above.
Great job! There are many ways we can show love to people all around us. Love is a command from God, a choice we make daily, and a fruit produced by the Holy Spirit as we seek to know and abide in Him.
I want you to take time now to write down how you can show love this week to the people in your life, whether it is your parents, your brothers and sisters, a friend, or kids at school you do not even know but who may need a friend.
I want you to place this somewhere at home where you will see it everyday, and I want you to do these things! Remember, 1 John told us to not just love in words, but with our actions!
Dear God, help me to produce the fruit of love each day, particularly this week in the ways that I have written down. Amen