Category Archives: Love fruit

Peace Fruit

Love Prays A Lot!

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Cor. 13:4-7

A person with an abundance of “love fruit” of the spirit most likely spends a great deal of time praying because he or she realizes that without prayer it’s impossible to love in the way described in the verse above.

This person may be getting up before dawn every morning to pray for an hour.

This person may keep a detailed prayer journal.

Or, this person might be like you and me struggling with time commitments and balance.

But one thing is probably consistently true of all people walking in an abundance of God’s love: they are praying for others consistently-even if it is just to send up “bullet” prayers in the middle of a workday or long commute.

There are some people here on earth who have never been prayed for by another human being.

Take a minute to let that churn around in your heart and mind.  There are people who have no one in their lives praying for them.  To make it worse, many of those same people see no value in prayer because they do not know God or have consciously rejected Him.

I think about my small daughter.  I was praying for her from the moment I found out I was pregnant and I have prayed for her and with her (almost) every day of her life so far.  There are some children without a praying parent, relative or friend. There are elderly people alone near the end of their lives with no one praying for them.

Just as we feel burdened to help the economically disadvantaged, we should also feel a burden for those with no one praying for them.

Does this mean that we locate a stranger in outer Mongolia to pray for by name every day?

I don’t know.

Maybe that is what it means for YOU.

Be sensitive to promptings when you think of a person you haven’t spoken to in a long time.

You hear a news story that rocks you to the core,

Pray for the survivors and families of victims.

Pray for the perpetrators of the violence.

You are frustrated with local, state or national government leaders.

Pray for them.

You have to pull over for an emergency vehicle.

Pray for the responders and people waiting for them to arrive

What if our “first response” to encountering frustration, stress or anxiety over people was to send up a quick prayer asking God to send His love into the person’s heart or into the center of the situation?

Be a zealous advocate before God for the people in your life-even those who just cross your path for a moment.

“Oh that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbor.”  Job 16:21.

All the Best in 2013,

Julie

Love Fruit is Cultivated Through Loving God’s Wisdom

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Cor. 13:4-7

Hopefully you’ve been thinking over the last month or so about the significant challenges but immeasurable benefits of spending time cultivating the fruit of love in our lives.

Indeed, I’ve gone as far as to say that love is the “superfruit” that feeds itself into all the other fruits of the spirit.

Are you still wondering what practical steps you can take to nurture the love fruit of the spirit?

Begin with realizing that it’s not like a recipe or a formula that works the same way all of the time for every person.

However, the closest thing I can find to an owner’s manual for life is the book of Proverbs. An often-recommended daily devotional is simply to see the date on the calendar and read the Proverb for that day.  That takes you through almost every Proverb almost every month.  When people are new to bible reading, I’ve recommended this as a starting point because it’s as if you are getting specific instructions and “tips” each day.  Note the presence of the word “verb” in Proverbs!  We know verbs requires action!  So you are actually given things to do to get you closer to your goal of living   in a way that pleases God.

A theme that runs through the book of Proverbs is wisdom!  More than anything else, Solomon, the author of Proverbs, wanted wisdom.  It was given to him and he passed it along.

To love more, start pursuing the things God loves.

God loves to instill wisdom in His followers, and rewards the person who runs after wisdom.

He promises this.

“I love them that love me and those that seem me early shall find me.”  Proverbs 8:17.

This verse seems to imply to me that we should try and seek God’s wisdom early in our day before the world can barge in.  Even if I am rushed in the morning, I can usually read a Proverb on my phone or laptop and know I have gotten some strength for the day.  The verse also speaks to the importance of pointing children to God early in their lives.  One way we demonstrate love to our children is to teach them about Jesus.

We are later told in Proverbs 8 that those that love God’s wisdom “will inherit substance” and they shall have their fill of treasure  (Proverbs 8: 21).  This may not mean we become wealthy in material goods and money, but it does promise spiritual abundance and eternal rewards.

If we are continually focusing our attention on the mundane details of our daily lives, we miss out on the “big picture” of where it all fits within God’s framework.

The more wisdom you obtain from God, the more you will want and once you’ve established this cycle in your life, the fruit of love cannot help but flourish and flow into your activities and interactions each day.

All the Best in 2013!

Julie