June 26, 2016

The Holy Spirit and Love

1 Corinthians 13:4-13

Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

—  1 Corinthians 13:13

The four-letter English word love packs a lot of meaning. It can refer to family love, friendship, romantic love, and sexual love. The Greek text of the New Testament uses a variety of words to express different types of love. The most important “love” word in the Bible, agape, expresses the highest form of love, the selfless love of God for human beings.

The apostle Paul, in this “love chapter,” offers one of the most beautiful and profound descriptions of love (agape) in all of literature. Genuine love (agape), he writes, is self-giving, patient, kind, forgiving, generous, and humble. This kind of love, says Paul, never fails.

In the demands, frustrations, and annoyances of everyday life, don’t you wish you could have even a fraction of this kind of love? Try as I might, I often fail to show selfless love for the people around me: family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and others.

Selfless love, though, is a fruit of the Spirit, a love that the Holy Spirit plants in our hearts when he comes to dwell in us. By continuing to ask him to work in our hearts, we can grow in self-giving love. 

When you struggle with showing selfless love, remember that the Holy Spirit is working in you, bearing fruit. Ask him to help you produce the greatest kind of love, the love that God has for us all.

Dear Jesus, thank you so much for your selfless love that makes us right with God. Please send the Spirit to work in our hearts so that we can love as you do. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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