“But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE …” (Galatians 5:22).
Nothing is more attractive to, or appreciated by, a man or woman who is hungry and thirsty than a beautiful plate of fresh fruit. And nothing is more attractive or appreciated by those who are spiritually hungry and thirsty than a man or woman filled with the Spirit of God and LOVING with the LOVE of Christ.
As one author stated, “We are familiar with the New Testament passages on LOVE, but we seem to have lost the Lord’s intended meaning and the application practiced by the first believers.” And another author wrote,
We would all agree: Christians ought to be the most loving people in the world— but we aren’t. Let’s face it, churches would be overflowing if we didn’t have the reputation of being hypocrites, liars, and so on. Unfortunately, a LifeWay Research study from 2008 found that 72 percent of Americans surveyed believe that the church is filled with hypocrites. 1 But that does not mean we should just throw up our hands and surrender. Nor does it mean that we stop talking about the gospel because it might offend some. If anything, we need to do more to proclaim and demonstrate the gospel by our words and deeds. … It seems we work hard to insulate ourselves from the very world Jesus says we should be focused on. We have successfully created, without malicious design, a Christian bubble— an evangelical subculture— where Christians live surrounded only by other Christians, and as a result, there are few among the lost whom we get to know intimately.
By the way, that survey was taken nine years ago. I am going to guess that 72 percent would be much higher today! As God’s people, we are to LOVE God, LOVE our brothers and sisters in Christ, LOVE our neighbor, and even LOVE our enemies in the same manner that Christ has LOVED us!
This LOVE of Christ cannot be worked up; this LOVE is a fruit of one’s relationship with Christ and one saturating himself with the words of God. That’s what the world is looking for. That’s what the world needs to see. That’s what God expects from His children in these dark days!
“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children: And walk in LOVE, as Christ also hath LOVED us …” (Ephesians 5:1-2).