The Fruit of the Spirit and Agape Love

**Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. ** 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

One of the great things about the Bible is that the writers find different ways to tell us the same thing. We might read something in Genesis, and then we see the same idea in the book of Ephesians. When we compare the two passages we find greater detail and receive deeper understanding.

In addition to that, the Lord knows that we rarely understand anything in life when we hear about it only once or twice. Nor do we grasp all it intends to teach us. Repetition and new context are two great teaching tools. And the Lord, of course, is a Master Teacher.

In our last post, Pass the Fruit Please, we talked about how to manifest more of the fruit of the Spirit. What we didn’t talk about is the Fruit itself.

Reading our Bible, and putting it into action is key for bearing fruit. Our action comes from the Son (sun). It is dwelling and walking with Christ. It is imitating Him. It is listening to Him and letting Him lead us.

Knowing our Bible makes the listening easier because we will recognize His voice more often.

What I find interesting, and oh, so helpful, is the correlation between the fruit of the Spirit and the definition of Charity or agape love. These two passages ( Galatians 5 & I Corinthians 13) complement each other and give us a better understanding of what the fruit of the Spirit looks like.

Fruit of the SpiritCharity
LoveEverything in this chart– Charity is Love
JoyRejoiceth in the truth
PeaceIs not easily provoked, Hopeth all things
LongsufferingSuffereth long
Beareth all things, Endureth all things
GoodnessDoth not behave itself unseemly
Thinketh no evil
Rejoiceth not in iniquity
FaithBelieveth all things
MeeknessVaunteth not itself, is not puffed up
Seeketh not her own
TemperanceEnvieth not

Can we all see that the two passages go hand in hand? Can we see that when we exhibit the Fruit of the Spirit we are also demonstrating Charity, (Agape Love)? The one complements the other. The one provokes the other. The one leads supernaturally to the other.

We say we want to know how to love people more. These two passages show us how.

We say we want to be more fruitful. These two passages show us how.

If we want to dig even deeper we can read John Chapter 15. It is the manual for walking with God. It tells us that Jesus is very interested in helping us bear more fruit. It tells us about the process of how He works in us and produces the abundant Fruit of the Spirit.

This may all seem a little overwhelming to some of us. All we need to remember is that it takes several years for the apple tree to bear fruit. The Lord will always do His part in taking proper care of the tree. Our part is to patiently wait for the fruit. In the meantime…

We can read these 3 passages. Galatians 5, 1 Corinthians 13, John 15. Then next week read them again. A month from now, read them again. And again and again.

We can pray while reading them, asking the Lord to show us what each verse means and how are we falling short of living them. We can ask Him to help us to see Him doing the work in us.

All that is left is the activity. We all need to practice loving others. We all need opportunity to be humble. We all need to recognize and correct when our actions and emotions don’t line up with these qualities.

Apple trees don’t grow overnight. Apples themselves don’t ripen in a day. We will not bear much fruit in a week. Let’s be patient with God and be patient with ourselves. The Autumn Harvest will come.

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