THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – LOVE (2)

Bible Reading: John 12:9-17; Matthew 5:43-48

Love is the first of the aspects of the fruit of Holy Spirit, and comes first for the obvious reason that patience, kindness, self-control, gentleness, faithfulness, joy, peace and goodness are not only aspects of the fruit of the Spirit but also are evidences of love. Love is the greatest and its outworking is see in these other fruits.

Love is so difficult to define because the devil has done all he can to distort its meaning. The devil hates love because God is love! Words that perhaps best sum up love are selflessness, sacrifice, care, and courage. One of the most beautiful expressions of this is found in David Ireland’s book, Letters to an Unborn Child. David Ireland was dying of a crippling neurological disease. His wife was pregnant and he knew that he would probably never see the child. In one of his letters to his unborn child he wrote:

“Your mother is very special. Few men know what it’s like to receive appreciation for taking their wives out for dinner when it entails what it does for us. It means that she has to dress me, shave me, brush my teeth, comb my hair, wheel me out of the house and down the stairs, open the garage and put me in the car, take the pedals off the chair, stand me up, sit me in the seat of the car, twist me around so that I am comfortable, fold the wheelchair, put in the car, go around to the other side of the car, start it up, back it out, get out of the car, pull the garage door down, get back into the car, and drive off to the restaurant.

And then it starts all over again; she gets out of the car, unfolds the wheelchair, opens the door, spins me around, stands me up, seats me in the wheelchair, pushes the pedals out, closes and locks the door, wheels me into the restaurant, then takes the pedals off the wheelchair so I won’t be uncomfortable. We sit down to have dinner, and she feeds me throughout the entire meal. And when it is over she pays the bill, pushes the wheelchair out to the car again, and reverses the routine.

And when it is over – finished – with real warmth she’ll say, “Honey, thank you for taking me out to dinner.” I never quite know what to answer.”

That is what love looks like! David’s wife, Joyce, gives us the most amazing picture of what courageous giving and self-sacrificing love looks like.

Questions:

If giving has cost you nothing then do you think that it is right to call it an act of love? What are the reasons for your answer to that question?

What is your reaction to the remarkable story of David Ireland’s dinner date with his wife?

Will you make a fresh commitment today to allow the love of God to fill you and touch those around you?

What does it mean to love those who don’t love you [Matthew 5:46]?