A MESSAGE BY PASTOR ALLI MUNSEY
There are fruits of the Spirit that make up the collective attitude of Jesus Christ. These fruits are a combination of traits that come through a relationship with Jesus. Fruits of the Spirit differ from our spiritual gifts. Our gifts come in the form of talents that God has blessed us with. We do nothing to receive our gifts, however for the fruits, we must become truly related and connected to Jesus.
So how do we go about getting these spiritual fruits? We must first acknowledge that the fruits come from God. We find that these fruits are produced in our lives through the Holy Spirit. Love is the baseline fruit that activates and pulls everything together. Tina Turner's hit single, "What's Love Got to Do With It?" calls love a 'second-hand emotion,' but nothing could be further from the truth. Love is the foundational fruit that unlocks the door to the other spiritual fruits.
Love is not optional. God does not suggest that we love, He commands it. There are no loopholes that exist in God's commandment to love. We cannot decide who to love and qualify who is worthy of love. Instead we should find all people deserving of love, just as God loves all people. We cannot give ourselves permission to disqualify people from love, because that is essentially giving ourselves permission to disobey God. Love is more than a feeling, love is a conscious decision that we make. We have to remain committed to offering love.
Love is about a lot more than keeping a commandment, it is about keeping love for God. Love pulls everything together. Love is the accentuating piece to our fruits of the Spirit. Love is what binds our spiritual outfit together. The painful things that we endure through life are what God uses to build the fruits on the spirit in us. Those difficult circumstances help us learn powerful lessons. Through difficult times, we must press forward and abide with God. Victory is found in an abiding relationship with God. We can't pray that God "fixes" everyone else. In love, we learn to pray that God works in our lives to fix us.
In Ephesians 4:22, Paul tells the church at Ephesus to let go of old things, and in that we can transform into a new life, one that is renewed through Christ. It is impossible for God to do something new in our lives if we are holding on to our old ways. We must trade in our old life for a new one in relationship with Jesus. In agriculture, we find that compost waste can be used as a fertilizer to produce a healthy crop. Basically, the waste, the bad parts that are deemed worthless, are repurposed to help create something healthier and stronger. If that can be done in farming, can Jesus do the same thing in our lives? The answer is a resounding yes!
Thank you God for your precious love. As I live in relationship with You, I pray that you continue to work in my life. God renew my thoughts and attitudes so that I may love the way that you love. I pray for a shift in my own perspective that will lead to seeing You in the right perspective. In difficult times, I will lean on my abiding relationship with You. Through each lesson in life, I thank you for strength and activating Your fruits of the Spirit in my life. In Jesus' name. Amen.