Abide in His love
God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16
God = love. The complete and perfect expression of God’s love was displayed in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. God loved people to the extent that He came and paid the price to get them back as sons and daughters. Now, He wants us to live in that same kind of love for those around us. He says anyone who abides, lives or dwells continually in the action of loving others, displays the same love that God has for all people. Not only that, but God lives in the person that stays continually in the action of loving others. What does that even look like?
Staying continually in the action of loving others can be defined by looking at the fruit that the Spirit of God produces inside of a child of God. The fruit is: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, humility and patience. (listed in Galatians 5:22 & 23). There is no way to continually dwell in the Spirit of God while displaying fruit opposite of these. That would be: Hate, misery, anxiety, complaining, harshness, evil, fear, pride, demanding. The fruit is the gauge you use for testing your love walk.
Jesus is our ultimate example and at His most critical moment in time, He displayed the fruit of the Holy Spirit perfectly. His desire is for us to do the same. Not only that, He has empowered us to do it by purposefully filling ourselves up with His Spirit. We are continuously feeding and filling our spirit with something. Whether its media, news or information, our spirit is always grow in some capacity. It is our responsibility as a child of God to fill up and grow the Spirit of God inside of us.
All the way to the cross Jesus never hated anyone, He never wallowed in self-pity, He never became anxious, He didn’t complain, He wasn’t harsh in His responses to those who beat Him. He didn’t speak, think or do any evil against those who sent Him there. He was not afraid and didn’t allow pride to get in the way. He was patient through the entire process never demanding anyone to recognize that He was the Son of God. Why would we think that it is acceptable for us to act in any emotion contrary to the Holy Spirits fruit.
This is love. God loves us so He sent His Son for us. Jesus walked in perfect love to the point of giving His life for us. We love others so we give our all for others. We demonstrate our love for God in our sacrificially loving all people the way He does.
Today I want to encourage you to first of all examine your fruit. Is it the pure fruit of God’s Spirit grounded in His love? Secondly, fill up your heart and life with the Spirit of God’s love. Spend time purposefully putting in God’s word. Listen to sermons and audio books to grow your spiritual fruit. Split in half your media, news and binge-viewing hours and offer God the same amount of time you give to the world’s input. Become full of His Spirit today and let the love of God show up where ever you go.
Today’s scripture reading: 1 John 4:12-16