20 Feb 2019

Growing Whole In Love

The theme of our church for this year is “Growing Whole”. It is through our Bible Studies, weekly sermons, special programs and events, and even community service projects that we will strategically chart our course in the pursuit of wholeness. The goal is to allow God, and those He places in our path to connect with, to put us on an intentional plan for life that will empower us to become spiritually, physically, and emotionally whole.

In order for something to grow it must be firmly planted and rooted in a place where it can be properly nourished. This is the first step toward healthy and wholesome growth. When we take the necessary steps and put forth the effort to achieve growth, we want to see evidence of what is being accomplished. That my friend is what the Bible refers to as “fruit”! Galatians 5: 22 is a perfect reference for that principle. “Fruit” is a natural result of growth. However, I am baffled by the numbers of people who feel that they only need the Spirit for spiritual growth! Oh, not so!

The fact is that the Spirit is Jesus Christ, and there is not one thing that can be successfully accomplished without Him! When we attempt to do things without the Spirit we are governed by our flesh and forge ahead in the power of our own strength. Consequently, the true evidence of our growth or the fruit of our growth is by way of the Spirit. The first mention of that fruit in verse 22 of Galatians 5 is love. I am convinced the reason that love is stated first in this list of 9 fruits is because the Apostle Paul the writer of Galatians and Corinthians wanted to persuade the people of those cities that authentic love cannot be produced or realized without being led by the Spirit.

What does the fruit of love look like when it is produced by the Spirit?

Love honors and recognizes God as its sourceLove recognizes that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son . . . that is the only perfect loveLove strives to keep God’s commandmentsLove puts the needs of others firstLove loves its enemiesLove wants the best not just for himself but for others as wellLove sacrificesLove honors God by becoming all that it was created to beLove acknowledges the gifts within and does not withhold it from the worldLove is not easily angeredLove is not rudeLove is not proud or boastfulLove rejoices in the truth.

This is your year for growth! The process of growth can only produce useful fruit when it is enriched with the Spirit of love.

Source: First Lady Denise