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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

March 3, 2014 - The Spiritual Fruit of Love

By William E. Richardson

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love ... " (Galatians 5:22, NKJV).

How sincere does this letter sound?

"Dear Jimmy: No words could express the great unhappiness I've felt since breaking our engagement. Please say you'll take me back. No one could ever take your place in my heart. Please forgive me. I love you, I love you, I love you. Yours forever, Priscilla.
P.S.: And congratulations on winning the state lottery."

While wrong motives try disguising themselves as love, expressions of true love can't be hidden. The Bible describes love as the foremost byproduct of our relationship with a God of love. God's great love invokes us to love Him in return (1 John 4:19). It also heads the list of spiritual fruit evident in the lives of God's followers.

The spiritual fruit of love comes into season when God's love in us loves others around us. Jesus told us our love for other Christians shows the world we're following Him (John 13:34,35). We're also to love those in our homes, our neighborhoods, at work, and other venues who live outside the Christian faith (Galatians 5:14).

What does the spiritual fruit of love look like? How do others know it when they see it?

It's love that lifts up other people. Empathy simply feels sorry for someone. Love finds ways to help. Love as spiritual fruit proves it cares by responding to needs in practical ways. It finds new ways to be a modern-day Good Samaritan.

It's love that sees the best in others. It looks beyond a person's faults. It wants to help the person improve, to become their best. It may feel frustration, but it keeps working toward better possibilities.

It's love that forgives as needed. Even if the offender doesn't request it. Pastor and author Mark Buchanan says, it's love that targets "those who never had it coming, who never saw it coming." Love learns to forgive like God does (Matthew 6:14).

When Colonel Harlan Sanders started selling his Kentucky Fried Chicken years ago, he had little money for advertising. So he became a walking advertisement. His white suit, his cane, his goatee, all promoted a place that sold a specially seasoned fried chicken.

When it comes to the Christian faith, Jesus mentioned one defining characteristic that makes us walking advertisements for Him. His words are recorded in John 13:35: "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

May you bear abundant fruit of love today.

— William E. Richardson is senior pastor of Afton (Iowa) Assembly of God and blogs at lights4god.wordpress.com.

 

 

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