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In the Bible God gives us a list of virtues which should characterize a Christian. On "Reaching Your World with Luis Palau," Luis looks at a few of these fruits of the Spirit and helps us measure ourselves by this standard.
How often every day do you say the word “love”? Some of us probably say it hundreds of times! Some people say they love pizza, others say they love the weather. Maybe you compliment someone on her shirt, saying how much you love it. Maybe when you talk about your favorite television show or song, you use “love” to describe how much you enjoy it.
This is not what the Bible means when it says, “The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,” etc. It’s good to enjoy the things around you, but the Bible, in Galatians 5, highlights a different kind of love. The Holy Spirit grows love in followers of Christ, love that comes from God. This kind of love, called agape love, is unconditional and never-ending. It’s not based on what someone does or feels. It is a conscious choice, instead of something that just happens.
There is a reason that love is first among all of the fruits of the Holy Spirit of God within His people. It is the one that all of the other fruits flow out of. If you don’t have love, you’re going to have difficulty being kind or gracious or gentle. Love is those qualities, as it says in 1 Corinthians 13. And if we have God’s love, which never fails, we will make a difference in our world for Jesus. This kind of love is world-changing! This is Luis Palau.
Sometimes it is important to go back to the basics of following Jesus. What does it really mean to be a follower of Christ? How can you tell if you’re truly following God’s way?
Well, Paul says in Galatians 5 that one way is by seeing the fruit you produce. He uses the fruit tree metaphor to describe the impact that the Holy Spirit has on our lives. The Holy Spirit is like a living, growing tree that produces fruit. This fruit, also known as virtues, is a clear indication that the Holy Spirit is living in us.
That doesn’t mean we are perfect, or that just because we follow Jesus we are naturally great at producing all of these fruits. We are all different. Some of us are more impatient, others can be unkind. Others struggle with self-control. We are humans who mess up. But the Holy Spirit makes all of these fruits possible. Even if we are not naturally patient, the Holy Spirit empowers us to become patient in spite of our sinful nature.
These virtues are not just for our own good. They will help us be happier and healthier people, but they are also indicators to others that Christ truly lives in us. People can see that we are becoming better and more virtuous through the help of the Holy Spirit, and they will want what we have. Our fruit will bring other people to the love of Christ, changing our world for Him!
This is Luis Palau.
Don’t be satisfied with a lukewarm faith. Listen to Luis Palau’s message, "Renewing Your Spiritual Passion," and learn how to be a strong, vibrant Christian.
On "Reaching Your World with Luis Palau" this week we see some of the things that keep us from a close relationship with God.