Posted by: Larry Hoekman | May 1, 2015

Fruit of the Spirit — Love God’s Way!

Day 1966: Another Friday to be thankful – TGIF – Thank God I’m Forgiven!

Scripture:  As a beloved child of God, I must love others, for love is from God.  By loving, I show that I am born of God and am seeking to know Him better.  But if I do not love, I demonstrate that I do not know God, for God is love.,  I John 4:7, 8

Thoughts/questions:  At one time, I struggled with the truthfulness of today’s verses. My problem was that I knew plenty of people displaying love who did not claim to be born of God.  How could this verse be true or ????  It was only after I was taught the multiple Greek words used for love that the verses were true and also correlated to the fruit of the Spirit.

Future devotionals will explore more about the 3 Greek words for love, but now the focus will be on the Greek terms translated ‘love’:  phileo meaning brotherly love and agape meaning unconditional love.  Peter’s conversation with the resurrected Jesus illustrates them.  Three times Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him, and 3 times Peter responded that he did.  Confusing, until you know that the first time Jesus used ‘agape’ and Peter responded with ‘phileo’.  To clarify, Jesus repeats the ‘agape’ question, and again Peter replies with ‘phileo’.  The last time Jesus and Peter use ‘phileo’.  Peter knew he was only capable of human, ‘phileo’, love and responded accordingly.

The Greek word agape is used in today’s verses – God’s unconditional love.   This is the love which is a fruit of the Spirit and cannot be generated by us.  My problem was solved!   Without the love of God (agape) flowing through me, I am only capable of the human expression of love (phileo).  I have to know God to have His love (the agape fruit of the Spirit) show forth in my life!

Today, many of us have a difficult time trying to love someone close to us; a relative, spouse, or friend.  We need to have the agape love of God’s Spirit take over.  Tell your loving heavenly Father that you can’t do it alone.  Get out of the way and display this fruit of the Spirit by letting God love that person unconditionally through you!

Suggested prayer:  Father God, help me get out of the way and let You love ___________ through me each day . . .


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