A 40 Day Journey to Becoming Like the One We Follow
Day 3: Love (John 13:34-35)
The first Fruit of the Spirit in the life of a believer is Love. If we don't love, then we're nothing, says Paul. But love as a concept has gotten so watered down over the centuries. Everyone desires to love and be loved, but we can hardly define it. The literal dictionary definition of love is, "an intense feeling of deep affection." But that hardly suffices to describe the connection between a husband and a wife or a parent and a child. Love is definitely "more than a feeling" - thank you, Boston.
Paul describes aspects of love - it's patient, kind, not rude, not self-seeking, etc. John takes it a step further and flat out says, "God is love." The reverse of that statement is not true, however. Love is not God. But God's very nature is summed up in the word "Love."
"The Lord–the Lord is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love and truth, maintaining love to a thousand generations..." (Exodus 34:6-7).
God's ultimate demonstration of his own love is Jesus. It was love that lead Jesus to touch the leper, to defend the adulteress, to bless the children, to wash feet. It was love that lead him to the cross and held him there.
Our standard of love is no longer "whatever feels right in the moment." Jesus is our standard for love. We are called to love one another as Christ has loved us. There is no greater love than laying down one's life for one's friends–Jesus even laid down his life for his enemies.
May we be so filled with the love of God through Christ that we can't help but let it overflow to others. Because without that love, nothing else matters.