Galatians 5:22-23 says “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.”
In Galatians, love is the first fruit of the Spirit listed. Perhaps that’s because love is what enables us to develop the other fruits of the Spirit in our lives, paving the way for what God wants to do in our hearts.
There are many ways to love people and there are many people in our lives that need love .
Here are 3 specific types of people that we should love.
1. Love Those in Need
An example of this is the story of The Good Samaritan in Luke 10:26-37. In this passage Jesus talks about loving your neighbour as yourself and gives the example of a Jewish man that was traveling on a road and some robbers came and beat him and took all of his possession and just left him there to die. A priest was walking on the road, he saw the man and just walked on the other side of the road. Another man saw the man but also walked on the other side of the road. Then a Samaritan man came along (Jews and Samartians didn’t get along) and cared for his wounds, and paid for him to stay at an innkeeper and get better, whatever the cost was. We should be encouraged to love those around us whether we get along with them or not. We should first see a need to love others and then act on that need of loving others. We should be in the act of love that puts others first.
2. Love the “Undeserving”
I put undeserving in quotations beccause no one is truly undeserving of love. We just think they dont deserve to be loved. An example I have is the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10. In this passage Jesus was coming through a town and a man named Zacchaeus who was a tax collector wanted to see Jesus but the crowd was to big so he climbed a tree to be able to see Jesus. When Jesus passed by he saw Zacchaeus in the tree and told him that he was coming to his house. But when people heard Jesus say that they complained and said that Zacchaeus was a sinner and as a tax collector took more than he was supposed to. Zacchaeus repented to Jesus. Zacchaeus knew he was a sinful tax collector but he wanted to see Jesus. Zacchaeus can be labeled as “undeserving” of love because he was unkind, and unpleasant and a thief. Even though these people thought Zacchaeus was undeserving of love, Jesus reached out to Zacchaeus and loved him when everyone felt that Jesus shouldn’t love him and in the end Zacchaeus’s heart was changed. This example shows that even if someone has wronged us it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t love them.
The second example I have is The Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32. In this passage a man had two sons. The younger son wanted to move away from home, so he asked his father for his inheritance. While he was away he spent his money foolishly and had no money left. He got hired by a farmer to feed the pigs and since he had no money to eat he was eating what he fed the pigs. One day he realized that his father’s servants ate better than him so he would go back to his father and ask to be a servant. While he was still a far ways off his father saw him coming home and ran to him. His father threw him a party, for his lost son had been found. The other son of the father was working in the field when the son came home and heard music and dancing. He found out that his brother was home and killed the fatest calf to celebrate. He was very angry at his father because he had never gone against his father like his brother had. This son can be labeled as “undeserving” of love because his brother didn’t think that his father should treat the other brother the way he was treating him (with love) when he left and wasted his money away. This is another good example of when someone wronged us that we should forgive them and welcome them back into our lives even if some people think we shouldn’t.
3. Love the Lost
An example of loving the Lost is in Luke 15:1-7. In this passage Jesus talks about if you have 100 sheep and you loose 1 but still have the other 99 you will leave the 99 and go and find the 1 lost sheep and then rejoice with others when it is found. The bible compares us to sheep. We all have gone astray. It is important to love those who are astray. Whether they have fallen or whether they have never known Jesus, it is important to love them. We can even consider The Prodigal Son to be someone who was lost, but the father was out there loving his son waiting for him to come home, even when the brother didn’t feel that was right. The father did what was right by loving his son who was astray.
Romans 8:38-39 says “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, one depth, nor any other created thing , will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”