The Gifts of the Spirit – Love
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23
One of the reasons that I’m glad I’m a Christian is that our God is a God of love. We are not perfect. He knows our inner minds, things that we wouldn’t dare tell anyone, and yet He loves us so much that He had his only Son come to earth to live humbly among us, and then to pay the penalty for our imperfections and brokenness. I’m proud of my God because of His love. I want to be able to love like Him. And in scripture, He teaches us how to do just that.
One of the ways that we are able to love God and to feel His presence in our lives is through the Holy Spirit. We cannot do it alone. The Holy Spirit is a helper, He helps us to strive to become the people who God wants us to be. And if we abide in the Holy Spirit, the fruits of the Holy Spirit will be revealed in us in the things we do and say. The Holy Spirit will bring peace to our lives, that peace that surpasses all understanding.
I don’t know about you, but I need reminders from time to time of those fruits of the spirit, so I can better incorporate them into my life. So, I’ve written some mini bible studies about the fruits of the spirit to remind us of the Holy Spirit that is inside of us always. We just have to remember to seek Him.
The first fruit of the spirit is LOVE.
What does God teach us about love? How does He demonstrate it? What does He expect from us? There are many answers to these questions, so I’m going to talk about Love, and how we can live it and apply it in our lives, in several lessons.
The word I want to stress today is “comfort.” We know that God loves us, and one of the ways that He shows that love is by His comfort.
Remember the words of Psalm 23: ‘Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” We are never forsaken, we are never alone. Psalm 10:17 says “Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.” He does hear their cries. He hears our cries. So cry out to Him and allow Him to comfort you. When you are feeling down, read the Psalms, and cry out to God. He is listening. He wants to be there for you.
All of us will experience some kind of grief, troubles or afflictions sometime in our lives. But God tells us not to waste them. He wants us to receive His comfort, and He wants us to in turn to pass that comfort on to others. We are not alone when we suffer, God is with us. But He also wants us to comfort each other. 2 Corinthians 4 says: “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” In 1 Corinthians 14:3, when Paul is talking about the spiritual gifts that God has given us to serve Him, he says that the gift of prophesy “strengthens others, encourages them, and comforts them.”
Comfort is a part of God’s love. The Holy Spirit puts these gifts inside of us so we can live them and pass them on. If we don’t use them, we waste them. When you grieve, remember to seek His comfort. When you see others grieving, don’t let them grieve alone. Be there for them, just as God is there for us. And in the act of comforting others, we will find ourselves to be comforted. That’s how our God works.
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
Our God is a God of Love. Why is His desire to comfort us an act of love?
What things to we usually seek when we need comfort? Do those things distract us from seeking the Lord?
How can we offer God’s comfort to others who are troubled?