But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law . – Galatians 5-22,23 NKJV
Among all the nine abstract listed above ,LOVE is the essence and the most essential element of the fruit of the Holy Spirit .
However, what is the difference between ordinary love and the love stated here in the above verse because even people who do not believe in God have a heart of love towards others.
The small passage in Matthew 5:44-46 from the Lord Jesus’ astounding teaching called ‘beatitudes’ very clearly amplifies this exceptional divine love that God expects from us and the blessings we can attain from it.
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?- Matthew 5:44-47 NKJV
When we ponder upon these verses, the curse, hate, spite and persecution mentioned are the arrows that are used against us by the devil to crush our hearts. To overcome these darts, Jesus asks us to use the most powerful weapons in return to advance our peaceful walk with God:
i. Blessing-comes from our tongue (has power of life and death).
ii.Doing good-involves our actions.
iii.Prayer-comes from our spirit.
By doing these, we receive the following blessings:
1. We will be the sons/daughters of God (verse 45).
2. We receive a reward (verse 46).
Practically, it may seem to be difficult but not impossible or else our Lord Jesus would not have asked us to love others. We need to guard our heart where the Holy Spirit dwells (because hatred, grudges and the Holy Spirit cannot live together) by maintaining peace and by breaking the spirit of division.
So, let us open our hearts for the Holy Spirit to come and fill us with His love i.e., His character and practice to love others unconditionally as Jesus loved Judas Iscariot and called him ‘friend’ even in betrayal.