Rev Stephen Caddick Mid-Week Bible Study January 20th 2021

The Fruit of the Spirit Love

Galatians ch 5 v 22,23. 1 Corinthians ch 13

It would be impossible to look at love without studying the great chapter in 1 Corinthians. This is possibly one of the most well-known passages in the entire Bible, probably because it is often the chosen reading at many weddings. Was it read at your wedding or a wedding you have attended? I wonder how many couples so much in love have listened to these words fully intending to do their very best to live up to them, only to find a short time into their marriage that they are indeed sometimes irritable with each other. This passage of course was not just intended as a blue print for the perfect marriage, it is God’s ultimate design for how we are to live in all our relationships, with each other and with Him. Can we hope to reach this high standard? Read again verses 4-7.If we were to read on to the beginning of chapter 14 v Paul exhorts us to pursue love, to make love our highest goal. Verses 4-7 are actually a picture of God’s perfect love. Which descriptions of love here speak to you about God’s love for you?

Matthew ch22 v34-40 In this passage we find the Pharisees coming to trick Jesus with their “clever” questions. Jesus immediately sees through them they are not really seeking the truth, their hearts are hardened, they think they keep the commandments but they have the lost the heart of what the commandments actually teach. Love is the beautiful fruit that the Holy Spirit is working to grow in our lives when we allow Him to. Remember to grow fruit we have to water the roots not the fruit. Remember we have grace when we fall short, this makes us want to do even better.

John ch13 v34-35 Jesus teaches the importance of loving one another, this will set the church apart. Love should be the defining feature of His followers, it is the thing more than anything that will draw other people to Christ as they see something of His beauty in us His followers. Even more amazing, do you know when Jesus gave this great teaching on love? It was during supper, the last supper. Jesus was about to face the worst that mankind could do at the cross, but here His final teaching to His disciples is on love. It is humbling to think that Jesus believes we can do this, He forgives us when we fall short, and He empowers us to love more.

1 John ch4 7-12 We can love because He first loved us. How do these verse motivate us to love more? Read verses 16-17 of 1John ch4. When we are confident of God’s love and we live in Him, His love can grow in us. This reminds us of the vine and the branches metaphor. To grow good fruit we need to abide in the vine.

Romans ch8 v 38-39 These verses give us the wonderful, confident assurance that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Knowing that we are forgiven much, and unconditionally loved positions our heart to love others. Read the story of the woman who brings the alabaster jar of perfume to anoint Jesus in Luke ch7 v36-48. Compare the attitude of the host with the sacrificial love of the woman. What do you think Jesus means when he says “ a person who is forgiven little, shows only a little love” ? We have been forgiven so much, at so great a cost. Knowing this should fill our hearts to overflowing with love.

It is my prayer for each one of us that the Holy Spirit will grow the beautiful fruit of love in our lives. That we will be more aware of how much the Father loves us, that our love for Him will grow, and that we will grow in our love for others.

Next week Joy!