What is love? A wide definition in our world, in our cultures, and so on. There are times when I hear the question, “what is love?” I can’t help start singing in my head that 80’s one hit wonder “What is love, baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more.”
Love can be something defined in a catchy song that makes us want to dance without a care in the world. Love can also be defined in a song filled with heartbreak and regret or the excitement of finally finding the one love you have been waiting for.
However, what if we have perceived what is love as completely wrong?
Think about it, our entertainment, our conversations, can alway lead back to “I want that.” Even when you find your person or maybe the dream life you wanted, does it really satisfy your whole being? We put this expectation on people, humans, to fill the void in our soul that is so much greater than we could imagine.
Because love isn’t just about us, love requires a cost.
Love is sacrificial. Love is to be received, but not harnessed where it is all about you. Love produces joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. It is the first fruit of the Spirit because without love we are unable to produce the rest. Without love it would empty words and actions.
So I come back to this question, what is love?
Love was demonstrated on Calvary, when the Son of God, in His love, saw us worthy of the cost to die for our sins. Jesus, for the love of His Father and His image bearers, took on the full wrath of God so we could be completely set free. And the love of God for us, that He would not withhold His wrath and judgment on His Son so we would be adopted as sons and daughters of the King and be a part of His inheritance.
This is love.
“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:8-10 ESV
“For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.” John 10:17
Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” John 14: 21
~ Sarah Moon
When I think about the fruit of love, I think of John 15:2.
“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”
This verse is the truest form of love, because it brings life.
The Father’s love for us is so fierce, He passionately will remove every part that does not serve our purpose and destiny. Yet, in certain seasons, He gently prunes back the specific parts of us to shape and redefine us in order to harvest the fruit that bares our most authentic self.
In a world where it is said, “Love is love,” to define an all around agreement to accept and embrace love as equality no matter the position is in fact, not love at all.
God is love. (1 John 4:16)
Love is more than an equal, self serving feeling, emotion or way of acceptance. Removing God from the equation is fraudulent. Because God loved us first, we are able to know what love truly is. God is the truest source and model of love. This source of true love does not have to be chased down to gain an emotional rush. Nothing has to be done to ever gain His love.
God’s love is alive, pure, accessible, unconditional, omnipresent, and endless.
The Father’s love is so real, HE placed boundaries around Himself to allow us the gift of free will. He prevents, so you can discover. Real and true love is self sacrificing, and His love for us does not depend on our actions or attitudes. We are His beloved, and He loves us for exactly who we are, and right where we are.
Where we are lacking, He provides.
Where we are filled, He still pours in.
The truest expression of the Father’s love promises He stays true to who He says He is. God planted your life from where you were into a place of blessing. “He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yield its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” Psalm 1:2-3
Even Jesus had a deep desire to reveal the heart of the Father as he prayed, “I have revealed to them who you are and I will continue to make you even more real to them, so that they may experience the same endless love that you have for me, for your love will now live in them, even as I live in them!” John 17:26
The greatest fruit of all, is living out of God’s true love. To bare it requires cutting and pruning. Painful to the flesh yet transforming to the heart.
Are you willing to let go of the pursuit and grab a hold of the One who pursues you with the truest love of all?
God’s love lives inside of us and it longs to be ignited into a flame everlasting.
“And it’s not just creation. We who have already experienced the firstfruits of the Spirit also inwardly groan as we passionately long to experience our full status as God’s sons and daughters—including our physical bodies being transformed.” Romans 8:23
~ Stefanie Rodriguez
Without love we have nothing.
It’s the ultimate fruit.
No other fruit can come unless we are first bearing the fruit of love. In order to do that we have to first receive love.
“We love, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19.
We are incapable of love, without first having received the love of Jesus. The personal unique affections He has for us individuals. This is a supernatural encounter. A revelation of what the cross really means. When this happens, we become the ultimate fruit bearer. We are then able to love like Christ because we hold in our hearts His personal love for us.
~ Amanda Santistevan
1 John 4:7-12 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”
Because God is love and His whole entire being is love, when we abide in Him, love is the ultimate fruit. And out of His love, all other fruits are produced. Love is the very source of the Spirit and by Him, we are able to reap a bountiful harvest. It is because He is love, and because He loves. And when we are fully abiding in Him, we can’t help BUT to love BECAUSE He IS love.
Love was the motivator that placed Jesus on the cross. Love was the motivator that made it possible to commune and fellowship with the Lord. And love was the motivator that we have the Spirit present with us today.
Romans 5:5 “Because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Without love we are clanging cymbals. (1 Corinthians 13) Without love, joy and peace and patience and all the rest are useless. (1 Corinthians 13:2)
1 John 4:16 “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
Love is the ultimate fruit because out of that love, all other fruits are produced.
Love is God. He asks us to love. His greatest commandment is TO love. THAT is the FRUIT, the byproduct of abiding in the Spirit who is God! When we abide in the Spirit, we have love.
~ Kissy Black