God's Words: Love
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
The Bible is filled with amazing words. I like to call them “God Words” because they are words that have the supernatural ability to transform a person’s life.
What are some of these life-transforming words?
In this devotional series, we are going to look at the some key biblical words that Paul provided in Galatians 5:22-23: ”But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
Of those nine qualities listed, none may have a more profound impact on our life than the first word: “love.” This is the Greek word “agape” and it is the highest love that is possible to feel, express or give. It is the word that speaks of the way God loves. The Bible calls it an “everlasting love.”
How does God demonstrate that He loves us?
One very important verse related to God’s love is John 3:16, which says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
The picture of God’s love is very simple — God loved, so God gave. God has a kind of love that is sacrificial and giving. It isn’t just a fleeting emotion or physical attraction to someone. To the contrary, God’s love is so profound that it was willing to make the greatest sacrifice possible to demonstrate the depth of that love – that of sacrificing His only Son so that we could have an eternal relationship with Him. John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
Sacrificing oneself to save the life of a friend seems like the greatest demonstration of love possible. However, when the sacrifice is made for someone who is completely undeserving, it shows that the love is on an entirely different level. That is exactly what Jesus did for us when he willingly gave up His life for us. He did this so that God the Father could have a way to forgive all of our sins and allow us to be a part of His family. That is how great God’s love is for you! It is such a great love that it is hard to even understand. It would be meaningless to tell someone that we actually loved them, but then never do anything that would reflect that love.
Why was God actually willing to make the greatest sacrifice possible for us?
Think of it this way: Jesus dying for our sins is the perfect expression of God’s love because Jesus was the only being in the universe who could actually pay the full penalty for our sin. God the Father knew that, but because He had such a genuine love for us, He was willing to sacrifice His only Son on a cross so that we could become one of His children.
Galatians 2:20 says that Christ “loved me and gave Himself for me.” This was the ultimate sacrifice that anyone could ever make, but it is exactly the kind of love that God demonstrated for us. Romans 5:8 declares, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And Verse 10 expresses it this way, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”
So, what does God’s love mean for my life?
God’s love is demonstrated to us by His willingness to make the most meaningful sacrifice possible for our salvation. For us as believers, it is important that we be merciful and kind to people who may not treat us in the same way. Why? So that we can be a “vessel” that God uses to pour out His undeserved love on others who need to be drawn to a saving faith in Him. As Jesus said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." (John 13:34) The more we become like Christ to others, the more of God’s love they will understand, and the more they will be drawn to Christ.
But what if I do not have the strength to love this way?
Because the kind of love that Paul is speaking about is a supernatural love, it is a love that has to be produced in us by a supernatural Person — the Holy Spirit. Romans 5:5 says that “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” We should all take great comfort in realizing that the life God wants us to embrace is a life that He actually creates within us once we surrender our lives to Him. We should thank God every day for His amazing love and how he demonstrated that love by giving His only Son as the perfect sacrifice for our sins.
Pray this week:
Will you pray this week: “Lord Jesus, thank you for loving me so much that you went to the cross for me. Would you please help develop your kind of sacrificial love in my life?”
Do you think that you can actually love others the way that God the Father loved you?