The Look of Love
If, day in and day out, we begin to live our lives – however haltingly – as an expression of love, compassion, forgiveness generosity, hospitality, peace and justice, then the transformation of the world will begin.
We will become agents of radical change within our tiny sphere of influence, and co-conspirators with others in the quiet revolution of God – the conspiracy of love.
Our actions may appear as small and insignificant as a mustard seed they may seem hidden and unnoticed as a tiny amount of yeast in bread dough, but the eventual effects will be seen.
Our acts will, little by little, begin to disturb the normalcy of the world. And that is all we can hope for. It is all we can ever hope for.
~ Kurt Struckmeyer, A Conspiracy of Love
Scripture: Galatians 5: 13-23; John 15: 1-4; 11-13
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. [NIV]
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.
I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. [NRSV]
Barb Smith-Morrison introduced this series on the fruits of the Spirit which we will be working on in the coming weeks.