We were driving to meet up with all our kids and grandkids the week before Christmas and Jo Beth, my college girl, and I were talking. Last year, she’d read this article about prayerfully choosing one word to keep in mind for all of 2015. Some of us did it. My word was “Focus.” I prayerfully focused on the word “focus,” and eliminated some distractions that helped me be more productive. It was good.
So, Jo Beth and I were talking about different words like: inspire, discipline, courage, etc., that we would put in a hat and randomly pick one. Then, I said, “Why don’t we just use the fruit of the Spirit?”
Galatians 5: 22: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such, there is no law.”
Understanding that the fruit of the Spirit is what the Holy Spirit produces in the hearts of believers that are open to His work, obedient to His Word, and on the same page as He; we drew a fruit of the Spirit. Our focus is not just on this fruit, our focus needs to be on the Lord Jesus Christ, but we are prayerfully watching to see what God teaches us about His fruit and how He works in our lives as He seeks to help us grow.
I drew “Love,” the first fruit. It seems like God has hammered me with Scripture concerning love.
Matthew 22:37-38: ‘Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.”
We sometimes think that we’ve really done something when we’ve gone to church or given an offering or obeyed a few commandments, but Jesus said that love is the greatest commandment. He said all the other commandments hang on this commandment. That is, they will be kept if we keep this great commandment. If we love God, we’ll love the goofballs around us! If we love God, we’ll honor Him with our lives in obedience. If we love the Lord, we’ll want to please Him by loving others as seen in forgiveness and compassion.
Colossians 3:14: “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”