Posts belonging to Category Love

The Fruit of the Spirit and 1 Corinthians 13

Understanding God's Word
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Fruit of the Spirit: Growing More Like Jesus

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There is a reason love comes first in the list of the fruit of the Spirit. Love is not only the greatest commandment and the most important thing of all, but it contains all the other fruit as well.

We see this in Paul’s beautiful description of love in 1 Corinthians 13. Paul writes: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Here is a chart showing how each of the fruit of the Spirit correspond with Paul’s various descriptions of love here in 1 Corinthians 13:

Love = the whole description in verses 4-7
Joy = “Love rejoices with the truth.” (v. 6)
Peace = “Love does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” (v. 4)
Patience = “Love is patient.” (v. 4)
Kindness = “Love is kind.” (v. 4)
Goodness = “Love does not delight in evil.” (v. 6)
Faithfulness = “Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (v. 7)
Gentleness = “Love is not rude, … it keeps no record of wrongs.” (v. 5)
Self-control = “Love is not self-seeking; it is not easily angered.” (v. 5)

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – they are all there in 1 Corinthians 13 because they are all part of the first fruit of love.

I also like how the preacher Donald Barnhouse describes each of the fruit of the Spirit as all springing from the one fruit of love. He writes:

Love is the key.
Joy is love singing.
Peace is love resting.
Patience is love enduring.
Kindness is love’s touch.
Goodness is love’s character.
Faithfulness is love’s habit.
Gentleness is love’s self-forgetfulness.
Self-control is love holding the reins.

Love comes first because love is the greatest commandment. Love is the greatest thing of all. Love is the first fruit which contains all the others.

From the message series: The Fruit of the Spirit: Growing More Like Jesus

Related message: The Fruit of Love

Sunday Morning SoundBytes – 7/15/2018

Sunday’s message in the Samson: Strong Man Gone Wrong series was called Love Gone Wrong, taken from Judges 16:1-22. Here is a brief outline of the message:

Five ways love can go wrong:

1) Choosing lust over love (1-3)
   – 1 Corinthians 6:15-17; 1 Thessalonians 4:4-6

2) Falling in love with the wrong person (4-6)
   – Proverbs 31:10-12; 2 Timothy 2:22

3) Not learning from your mistakes (6-14)
   – Proverbs 22:3, 26:11

4) Putting other people before God (15-19)
   – Exodus 20:3; Matthew 10:37-39

5) Thinking God will ignore your sin (20-22)
   – Proverbs 29:1; Galatians 6:7-8

Note: Click on the Sermons tab at the top of the blog for this and other messages.

To Love is to be Vulnerable

Here is a great quote on love and vulnerability from author C.S. Lewis:

Of all arguments against love none makes so strong an appeal to my nature as “Careful! This might lead you to suffering.”

To my nature, my temperament, yes. Not to my conscience. When I respond to that appeal I seem to myself to be a thousand miles away from Christ. If I am sure of anything I am sure that his teaching was never meant to confirm my congenital preference for safe investments and limited liabilities.…

There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.

But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.

   ~ from The Four Loves, by C.S. Lewis

HT: Desiring God Blog

What Is Love?

If you came here after searching for “What is love?” you are not alone. According to Google*, “What is love?” is the top “What is …” search in all of America. So, what is love? Here are three of my favorite answers straight from the Bible (and just in time for Valentines Day!).

Romantic Love:

Love is as strong as death,
    its jealousy unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.
Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.
If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love,
    it would be utterly scorned. (Song of Solomon 8:6-7)

The Nature of True Love:

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking,
    it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts,
    always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

God’s Love:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

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 4:1-10)

Related post: A John 3:16 Valentine Message

Click here for more Love related posts.

(*Google Stats 2008; Google Stats 2007)

Martin Luther, Love and Marriage

Justin Taylor shares about Martin Luther and his marriage in the article: Love and Marriage: Luther Style. Read about Luther’s earlier bachelor life and how he helped his future wife, Katie, escape from a convent in a fish barrel. Find out 20-year-old Katie’s response when Luther tried to set her up with a 60-year-old teacher. Learn about the shortest engagement on record: proposed to and married on the same day! (June 13, 1523) Consider the following four lessons Justin shares drawn from the Luthers’ legacy of love and marriage:

  1. Martin and Katie didn’t put their hope in marriage; they put their hope in God.
  2. Martin and Katie didn’t marry each other because they were infatuated with each other; instead they grew to love each other because they were married.
  3. Martin and Katie viewed marriage as a school for growing in godliness.
  4. Martin and Katie enjoyed the God-given gifts of life and marriage unto the glory of God.

It’s a fun article. Be sure to read the whole thing.

A John 3:16 Valentine Message

My parents emailed me this neat little valentine this morning, so I thought I would pass it along to you.

For God so loVed the world
      That He gAve
            His onLy
                      That whoever
        Believes In Him
              Shall Not perish,
        But have Eternal life. (John 3:16)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Related post: What Is Love?

Ruth Bell Graham – Poems

Update 1: The poem Ruth wrote at 13 about the man she would someday marry is found in comment #4 below.

Update 2: The poem “Home Address” has been added to the comments below.

Update 3: Free commemorative book of Ruth’s poems – click here for more information.

Noel Piper shares the following poems from Ruth Graham over at the Desiring God blog. They are both from Ruth’s book Footprints of a Pilgrim.

The first poem is about choosing to love through the difficult times when Billy would have to leave her and the children to go on the road.

without clinging;
if you must—
but privately cry;
the heart will adjust
to the newness of loving
in practical ways:
and cooking
and sorting out clothes,
all say, “I love you,”
when lovingly done.

without clinging;
if you must—
but privately cry;
the heart will adjust
to the length of his stride,
the song he is singing,
the trail he must ride,
the tensions that make him
the man that he is,
the world he must face,
the life that is his.

without clinging;
if you must—
but privately cry;
the heart will adjust
to being the heart,
not the forefront of life;
a part of himself,
not the object—
his wife.


The second poem is about losing a loved one and reflects what the Graham family must be experiencing right now with the loss of Ruth.

A house
is not the same
when she who made it home
is gone;
it looks
as it has always
and yet
There is an emptiness
a silence
where her chuckle was.
From now on
it is me alone
who once was “us.”

Related articles:

Luv is a Verb

I was never a big DC Talk fan, but as a youth pastor in the 1990’s I got to hear plenty of their music. One song the youth played all the time was “Luv is a Verb,” off of the Free at Last CD.

This song came back to haunt me last week as I prepared the message for Sunday morning from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. This is the famous passage in the Bible where Paul gives an extended description of love.

Although many of the descriptive words read as adjectives in our English Bibles, they are all verbs in the original Greek. The love Paul is talking about is not primarily something you feel but something you do. We may not always be able to control our feelings, but we can control our actions. Love is something that you choose to do or not to do. Luv is a verb.

DC Talk rap:
Back in the day there was a man
Who stepped out of Heaven and he walked the land
He delivered to the people an eternal choice
With a heart full of luv and the truth in His voice
Gave up His life so that we may live
How much more luv could the Son of God give?
Here is the example that we oughtta be matchin’
Cause luv is a word that requires some action.

Hey, tell me haven’t ya heard?
Luv, is a serious word
Hey, I think it’s time ya learned
I don’t care what they say
I don’t care care what ya heard
The word luv, luv is a verb

(Excerpt from “Luv is a Verb” by DC Talk)