“The fruit of the Spirit is love…” Gal. 5:22
Humans are forever trying their best to muster up things of value, such as love. We reflect on Jesus’ teachings about love and resolve to try harder to love more. We hear a sermon about love being a verb, an action word, so we think up ways we can do better; ways we can improve our love output.
Sometimes, however, people just aren’t very love worthy. You try to do something nice for them and they return your kindness with belligerence. Then your remember Jesus said to love your enemies, so you grit your teeth and grunt, “I’m gonna love you even though I don’t like you.”
Paul reminds us that love is a fruit. It comes through the Spirit of God flowing through the vine of Christ. Fruit is not produced by scrunching up your face and squeezing hard till it pops out. It is the natural result of a well-nourished plant rooted in good soil, warmed by the sun’s rays, and refreshed by gentle rains. It is not a processed food. You can’t buy it in a box or a can. It is in the produce section.
It is impossible to love without being loved. Genuine agape love is organically produced by a healthy branch attached to the vine. All the branch has to do is stay attached to the vine. Do you want to love more? Cling more deeply to Christ. Let yourself decrease and Christ increase. Let Christ be your occupation and your preoccupation. Lose yourself in Him. When love of self is abandoned and love of Christ becomes its replacement, the Spirit of God will produce the luscious fruit of love in your life like never before. We may produce a painting of fruit on our own, but real fruit only comes from the Spirit.