Fruit | Week 9: Love
“I love tacos!” How many times do we proclaim our love for food, each other, a place or a way of life? No matter how much we claim to love any of those things, it pales in comparison to the love that we find in Jesus. John famously tells us “God so loved the world” that he sent us Jesus. And nowhere is that love more apparent than on the cross. God himself took on flesh, endured hardship and ridicule, and eventually died a sinner’s death. Why? Because he loves us. The first and all-encompassing fruit of the Spirit establishes a bar that we cannot consistently reach. Our sinfulness and our brokenness prevents us from doing so. But because God’s love is perfect and unconditional, grace washes over our shortcomings. All the more, “let us stay in step with the Spirit” as he teaches us to love like Jesus loves.
READ Ephesians 4:2
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
READ the verse again and consider these related questions.
In what ways does love encompass all of the other fruit of the Spirt that we have covered?
How does God’s love for us help us to love others better?
Can we love God and not love our neighbors? Why/why not?
Read Ephesians 4:31- 5:2
1. If we have not gotten rid of the sins listed in v.31, can we really love others?
2. Why does God’s love for us compel us to forgive others?
3. How do we give up ourselves for others? How is that love?
Read 1 John 4:8
4. God is also, among other things, just, merciful, faithful, and righteous. What is the danger of only focusing on God’s love?
5. Do some of God’s other traits contradict his love? Explain.
Read 1 Peter 4:8
6. How does loving others enable us to endure those who sin against us?
7. What do we hope the result of our love will be?
8. Look at Romans 8:35-39. Describe our eternal security based upon God’s love for us.