Summary: Now that we know the attitude we are to have to be called Jesus’ disciples, as a disciple we are to produce fruit.
We have spent the last 8 Sundays discussing the beatitudes from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. These are very important first steps as we take a detailed look at Becoming a Better Christian. Let me remind you that to be a Christian requires us to have a responsibility. When we become a Christian, there should be evidence of a change in our lives. Jesus told us in explicit detail in the 8 beatitudes how we should be at heart.
In continuing our journey of Becoming a Better Christian, for the next 9 weeks the Lord is leading us to look at the 9 fruits of the spirit. Now that we know the attitude we are to have to be called Jesus’ disciples, as a disciple we are to produce fruit. What is that fruit? How can we fine-tune our Christian attitude? Galatians 5: 22-23:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control; against such things there is no law.”
We started this new year talking about love. What does love mean? – For years I have been told that if you want to know the definition of a word – ask a child. Here are some children’s definitions of love:
“Love is that first feeling you feel before all the bad stuff gets in the way.”
“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth.”
“Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.”
“Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.”
“Love is when mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure that it tastes OK.”
“Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My mommy and daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.”
(girl) “Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.”
“Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.”
“Love is when mommy gives daddy the best piece of chicken.”
“Love is when mommy sees daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford [or Brad Pitt].”
“Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.”
“When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.”
Now it’s appropriate that love is the first Fruit because it encompasses all the rest.
Can you truly be patient without Love. Can you know peace or joy, without love. Can you be gentle, good and faithful without love. Love is very powerful. Yet love in our world is so misunderstood. Not only is love misunderstood, but it is the greatest battle ground a Christian faces.
Philippians 2: 1-2: “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.”
WE ARE TO BE CHRIST-LIKE: HAVING THE SAME LOVE.
Being united with Christ. Like-minded having the same love, Being one in spirit and purpose. Love- is one of the most difficult areas of our lives. It is a daily battle. To treat others with the same love Jesus had for them.
And in this, we end up frustrated. Most times we get frustrated with those we should love the most—the church family, your spouse and children. How about you? How are you doing when it comes to loving others?
There was a guy who was getting married, had the ring in his hand and said:
Sweetheart, I love you so much, I want you to marry me. I don’t have a car like Johnny Green, I don’t have a Yacht like him, I don’t have a house his size, I don’t have the money of Johnny Green. But I love you with all my heart.
She looked into his eyes and said I love you too, But could you tell me a little more about Johnny Green. That’s not quite the love we’re talking about tonight.
Paul’s next verse in Philippians is probably the most clarifying on Love as a fruit of the spirit: “Philippians 2:3: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”
“Regard one another as more important than yourself.” Just eight little words, but they start the battle within. Regard One another. Consider others Better. We don’t have a problem with important people—Celebrities, or VIPs, even Church leaders.