Summary: A series of sermons helping us to reach our full potential by looking at the Fruit of the Spirit.

Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-26

April 8, 2018

The great theologian, Tina Turner said this about love . . .

What's love got to do, got to do with it

What's love but a second hand emotion

What's love got to do, got to do with it

Who needs a heart When a heart can be broken

What's love but a sweet old fashioned notion

What's love got to do, got to do with it

Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken

That’s really a sad commentary about love. Can you imagine what our world would be like if we all agreed love is just an old fashioned - - second handed emotion? What if we just don’t want to get hurt so we all agreed to protect ourselves to the point where we can never experience love, or give love?

Today we’re beginning a new series. Before Easter, we were looking at the 7 Deadly Sins, and now we want to look at the positive values and character we need to display. We’re looking at the Fruit of the Spirit. Each of these 9 fruits or virtues are tremendously important in who we are called to be in Christ. These will help us reach our full potential, which is our key phrase for 2018.

Love must be the backbone, the cornerstone of all that we do. The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Galatia these words ~

22 The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

As we were talking at Bible study this past Wednesday, anytime you see a list, check out the first item on the list. Assuming the list is well thought out. That first item will be the most important item. On this list, Paul places LOVE first.

So, we can ask the question Tina asked . . . What’s love go to do with it? The answer is really easy . . . EVERYTHING!! Love must be the cornerstone of everything we do. It’s the first item in the Great Commandment from Jesus! In Mark 12 we read ~

28 And one of the scribes came up and . . . asked Jesus, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”

29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

There is no other commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:28-31

Verse 29 is the most sacred of Jewish prayers. It was originally found in Deuteronomy 6, as Moses was giving final instructions to the people before they entered the promised land. It’s the foundation of Jewish faith. It’s called The Shema! In Hebrew it sounds like this - - -

So, Jesus is asked which commandment is most important! What’s most important is to love! No exceptions. And Jesus goes on to say ~

30 And you shall love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your mind and with ALL your strength.’

Notice that Jesus didn’t just say to love God, or love God sometimes or with some of yourself . . . but we are to love god with . . . .how much of our heart!? ALL With how much of our soul? ALL! With how much of our mind and body? ALL! No exceptions. Love God with everything you have! That’s where it all starts! When we start to love God like that, our relationship with Him changes. We begin to look at life differently. We see people differently, we see circumstances and situations differently. We’re changed from the inside out. If it doesn’t change us, then have we really loved God with ALL of ourselves?

Then we move forward with loving others. That’s the second part of this commandment. Love your neighbors!

Part of the problem is the fact that we really don’t understand love. Love may be one of the most complicated and complex words in the English language. When we talk about love, don’t we say things like - - -

I love God, I love pizza, I love that song, I love sunny days, I love my job, I love that outfit, I love that book, I love that car . . . and that list can go on and on.

We’ve used the same word to mean many different things, because we’re limited because English only has 1 word for love.

The Greeks had 4 words for love. Here’s a quick lesson, and we’ll look at the main word for us.

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