A well know Christian author used to pray every morning, "Holy Spirit, I pray that this day you will fill me with yourself and cause your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." What a prayer. This list of character "fruit” is taken from the Apostle Paul's New Testament letter to the Galatians, chapter 5, verses 22–23 (ESV) "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.". This is called the nine-fold fruit of the Holy Spirit. Over the next nine Newsletters, I will share a short thought on each one. The first is Love.
Love among Jesus disciples should be the primarily evidence to the world of Christian community. Jesus says in John 13:35, "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” So all people will know we are Jesus disciples if we have love for our fellow disciples. It is as simple (and hard) as that. Mrs White, one of the pioneers of the Seventh-day Adventist Church says “True love is not a strong, fiery, impetuous passion. It is, on the contrary, an element calm and deep. It looks beyond mere externals, and is attracted by qualities alone. It is wise and discriminating, and its devotion is real and abiding”.
Love is described in terms of the other eight-fold fruit of the Spirit. Therefore love is joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The Apostle Paul writes to His problem church in Corinth, that the answer to their spiritual ailment is a lack of love. Then in the famous chapter of 1 Corinthians 13, verses 4–8, he elaborates (ESV) "Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away". Jesus in the book of Revelations, in chapter 2, verse 4, rebukes His church at Ephesus for their lack of love (NKJV) "Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love". Timely and important words also for these last days. Selfless Love will be one of the hallmarks of Jesus' end time people and church.
This Saturday/Sabbath both the Great Yarmouth church building and the Lowestoft church building, are open for Sabbath School and our weekly Worship Service! The Worship Service is at 11.15am, and will follow Sabbath School which starts at 10am. Please note that the Teen and Children Sabbath Schools are at Great Yarmouth. Zoom and Facebook will also be live-streamed from the Great Yarmouth Church.
May the Lord bless you and keep you,