"Oh, so we're kind of fruity?" I was slightly annoyed at the statement, but considering it came from a teenager who spoke fluent sarcasm, I wasn't surprised.
I was teaching from Gal. 5:22-23 (NLT) about the fruit of the Spirit, and I had just said, "We are to produce this fruit from our lives."
We know people by their reputation. We can recognize good from bad, evil from hope, and carelessness from caring. So when people talk about you, what do they say?
I am the first to say I am not great at all these fruits, and I would guess you are not, either. But Christ wants us to be known for our love. John 13:34. Then, in Rom 5:5b, it says, "…For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." Now, we see it as a fruit of the Spirit; in other words, as we live our lives for Christ and with Him - we begin to express His heart and will to others.
Love is abundant. It isn't kindness; we will get to that later. But it is a self-sacrificing love that doesn't expect anything in return. Many of you have said that loving others isn't easy. It is. Just choose to love them. If they like you or don't like you - it doesn't matter. You will love them anyway. You're not permitting them to wreck your life; you're just showing them what God's love is all about.
Dear Jesus, help me to love others today the way You would love them. AMEN