A human being lives, but he is given life.
Two essential elements of effective fellowship groups are the fruit and gift of the Spirit manifested in the lives of the participants. There is only one way these can be present and that is if the participants are filled with the Holy Spirit.
Today’s devotional we will consider the role the fruit of the Spirit plays in fellowship. The fruits of the Spirit are listed in Paul’s letters to the Galatians; “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness,
self-control. Against such there is no law” (Gal. 5:22, 23).
Let’s look at the first fruit love. The Greek word here is “agape” this is the highest form of love. It is the kind of love with which God loves us, doing what is best for the one loved. Jesus talks about this type of love in (Matt. 5:44) “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.
And Paul describes it in (1 Cor. 13:4-7) “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
These fruits bring the character of Christ in to the group. It is through people that God loves us. So it will be through Spirit-filled Christians that God will reveal His love to all who come to the fellowship, whether they are Christian or non-Christian.
Supporting Scripture; (Eph. 4:11-16)
Personal Reflection and Discussion
It is easy to love someone who loves you. Loving the “unlovable ” is so hard and yet we are to do this very thing. We have to have the fruit of the Spirit in the form of the Holy Spirit to attempt any of these fruits. When we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us on love, the other fruits are a little easier. We just have to remember though, we cannot do it ourselves. We have to have the Holy Spirit.
It is very easy to love the ones that love us, and you are right about the ones that do not want us to love them, I think this is why Matthew, Mark, and Luke all tell the story of the Scribes asking Jesus which command is the greatest. And I think his answer says a lot here. He could have stopped with how we should Love God but in Matthew 22:39 Jesus continues with “And the second is like it ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” He knew that people are prone to turning their backs on the ones that do not love them.
So the question I would ask is; how can you say that you are a Christian and say that Christ lives in you, if you do not love as he loved.
I love the verse that says…God puts the lonely in families (plural). He puts the lonely in unities. Adam first noticed he was lonely before given Eve. Then He took out of Adam his rib and put it in Eve. Showing together they form a complete unity. God gives us each other to help us feel complete..to become a more perfect man (Eph.4:13). To help us, as we each become the other’s helpmate, we become our brother’s keeper. I feel my home is in Texas, even though most of my family is back east, because I have David and my kids of course; but also because of my extended family…the church (namely a few who stand out from the bunch). I know that I won’t be alone if anything were to happen. I could count of my family here to be there for me. If not mistaken, agape mean brotherly love, it that kind of love that unites us like a family. It’s the rest of the fruit of the spirit that keeps us as a family.
When I read the definition of “Agape” in the Greek Bible, the first thing it says (Primarily of Christian Love) what I get from this is the love that Jesus has for each and every person, it is not until we can learn to love like Christ, can be like Him. I make it a point to pray for all people in my life even the ones that did me wrong and I try to name names, if you do this you will start seeing a change in your life and how you look at others and how others see you also.