Galatians 5:22,23 – 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
It’s no wonder love is the first fruit mentioned. Throughout the Bible it is touted as an attribute to be desired above all others. Jesus Himself said loving God and your neighbor were the two greatest commandments, and Paul counted it greater than faith and hope in his letter to the Corinthians. And, according to 1 John, a person who doesn’t not possess this spiritual fruit does not know the Lord or His ways.
This fruit is what paves the way for all the others. If we have love in our hearts towards our God, then we will allow His Spirit to work on hearts and make them hospitable to the other fruits. And, if we have love in our hearts toward our fellow brethren, then we will have no issue showing the other fruits towards them. Gentleness and patience towards even those who wrong us will become second nature because of the overwhelming, tender love in our hearts.
We must seek all of these gifts, but first and foremost, we must have love. Its importance cannot be overemphasized, for it is how Christ’s disciples are set apart. It is an integral part of what it means to be a Christian. If you want to have this all important spiritual fruit and be counted among God’s number, ask the Lord for a measure of His love today. In His love, He will not refuse you.
Further Reading – Matthew 22:36-40 – 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
1 Corinthians 13:13 – And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 John 4:8 – He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.
John 13:35 – By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.