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Summary: A focus on one of the fruits of the Spirit that really shows the state of our hearts - LOVE. As Deuteronomy 6:5 says “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

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This month we are looking at the Spirit in the Ministry of Believers.

We will be thinking about how the Holy Spirit operates in us, how the Holy Spirit gifts and enables us, how we allow the Holy Spirit to use us to minister to others.

This morning I want us to focus on one of the fruits of the Spirit that really shows the state of our hearts - I want to talk about LOVE.

The bible tells us simply and clearly that “God is Love.” (1 John 4:8).

The list of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 begins with LOVE - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and

self-control

Why is love first on the list? Probably because without love the other 8 characteristics of the Spirit of God can not be fully present in our lives.

We need to love. We are commanded to love.

As Deuteronomy 6:5 says “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength”

Ah, Deuteronomy - Maybe your thinking, Old Testament - Old Covenant - we are New Testament Christians, we live by Grace not by Law...

ALL It’s a nice thing to aspire to, but not essential.

Sorry - wrong answer - wrong grasp of scripture. Listen to the words of Jesus in (Matthew 22:36-40)

Jesus was asked the question, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” And Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, you shall love you neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40)

Jesus is clear and emphatic. We are to“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength - and we are to show Love to others.

Actually, depending on your point of view, it gets better - or worse - if you look at the original Greek. In Greek the word translated love in this passage is Agape – Unconditional love.

The word translated Love in this passage is Agape and God requires us to give back Agape love to Him and to the world we live in.

“…You shall Unconditional Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37

“…You shall Unconditional Love your neighbour as yourself.” Matthew 22:39

There is such an importance placed on this commandment that Jesus tells us:

“On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:40.

Do you see that Love is important to God?

The Apostle John wrote: in 1 John 4:10 “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10

John also wrote:

“For God so Loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, thatwhoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16


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