At Kanakuk, Kampers are taught to live out I’m Third– to put God first, others second and ourselves third. Why is this our Kamp mantra? Scripture tells us that when we put God first in every aspect of our lives, then we will produce fruit as our character reflects the Holy Spirit at work within us.
This week begins our blog series of diving into the Fruits of the Spirit, found in Galatians 5:22-23, which says,
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
We found it appropriate that because it’s the first fruit mentioned and also Valentine’s week, we would take a deeper look at love. Just like fruit that grows on a tree in real life, Fruits of the Spirit don’t magically grow overnight. Fruit grows from a well-watered tree. To produce the Fruits of the Spirit, and live out a life of love, we have to be deep-rooted in the Lord and in His word, spending time with Him daily to be refreshed. So, what does God’s word teach us about living in love? Here are 3 examples from scripture of how we can live in love:
Spend time with Love himself. 1 John 4:8 tells us that “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” What an incredible concept–we cannot know love outside of God! The more time we spend getting close to our Creator, the more He is able to shape our hearts and make us more like Him. Since God is the very source of love, the best way we can shape our heart to produce the fruit of love, is to draw nearer to Him every day in prayer, worship or reading His word.
Ask the Lord for His help. Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Let’s face it–loving others isn’t always easy! Out of human nature, it feels natural to put ourselves first. But this isn’t how God has called us to live. To think of others before ourselves, we turn to God for strength. By turning to God in prayer and asking for hearts that love abundantly, He wants nothing more than to give us this gift for this is His desire for His children.
Practice loving every day. James 1:22 says, “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” To live in the Spirit, we have to put our faith into practice. The simplest way to become a person whose life is defined by love is to intentionally share love every day. There’s always an opportunity to share Christ’s love with others–being kind to our enemies, doing some extra chores to help out your family, or going out of your way to spend time with someone who needs a friend. These are all chances to be the hands and feet of Christ to those around us. When we practice these little acts of love every day, we cultivate a habit of love in our hearts.
How can you show love to your friends, families and community this week?