The Fullness of God in Jesus Christ, Week 1, Day 5

Day 5:  Love in the Spirit

“Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit,” Colossians 1:8, KJV.

(If you are working on writing out the book of Colossians, today might be a good day to write out verse 8.  If you are behind on your writing, do not fret.  Simply catch up when time allows.  This is not a legalistic exercise but rather a fun challenge.)

On Day 4, we discussed Epaphras and his faithfulness as a servant of Jesus Christ.  Verse 8 above continues on to say that Epaphras had told Paul and others about the love those of the Colossian church demonstrated.  How did this love come about?  The Spirit of God!

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Image via Pexels by Luis Quintero.

Romans 5 states that the Holy Spirit pours out the love of God in us.  Incidentally, Galatians 5:22 states that the fruit of the Spirit is love.  We know we belong to Christ if we have love for one another.  That is not to say that we will not waver in our love walk.  I have many times, but if we truly love God, we will make the sacrificial choice to walk in love with others despite any ill feelings we might have.  This is not hypocrisy!  Choosing to do what is right despite what you feel is walking in the Spirit rather than the flesh (Galatians 5:16).

What does Romans 15:30 state that the love of the Holy Spirit will cause one to do?  What did Paul ask the Romans to do?

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If you are having trouble demonstrating love to someone, begin to pray for them.  I am not suggesting a God bless so and so prayer, or a “bring down fire from heaven” prayer.  I am talking about a true prayer of love and concern for the well-being of the individual in question.  Of course, I realize it will be a challenge in the beginning, but after a period of time, you will begin to see your irritating person in a different light, the light of God’s love.

What does Proverbs 10:12 state that love does with offenses?

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Friends, when we seek to expose the sins of others with malicious intent, our hearts are far from the place they should be in the Lord.  Proverbs is not suggesting that we ignore sin when it keeps occurring, but we can put those offenses under the blood of Jesus.  In doing so, we are trusting the sovereignty of God to deal with negative behavior while we refuse to let that same behavior control us. Rather, we are choosing to be led by the Spirit of God because we are reminded in Romans 8:14 that those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.

We talked about love on Day 3, but we did not delve into the subject too deeply.  Today, I am attempting to become more in-depth although I will never give it the attention it deserves.

No love lesson is complete without 1 Corinthians 13.  Turn there now and read verses 1-8.  Write some of love’s attributes below.

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Image via Pexels by Roven Images

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How are these attributes similar to the parts of the Spirit’s fruit in Galatians 5:22-23?

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When we walk in the love of God, we will seek the interests of others rather than our own.  Why?  We have a love for others because God has planted it in our spirits.  We also are secure in God.  We know that He will take care of us.  Since we can trust God with our welfare, we are freed up to look out for others.  What freedom!  We can rejoice in that!  Do you realize what a weight is lifted when you stop worrying about yourself?

There is not even a hint of self-righteousness as I write this. Not that I have not experienced my share of that ugly sin, but I know what it is to struggle with demonstrating love to someone who has exhausted your patience.  The Holy Spirit will give you the grace to extend even more grace to the one annoying you.  He knows when to extend mercy, and He knows when it is time to speak the truth in love.

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Image via Pixabay by Rauschenberger

Yes, love and truth go hand-in-hand.  Often, love is speaking unpleasant truth to someone.  We might have to be straight-forward and tell someone that his or her actions are causing others pain.  We might have to put some distance between ourselves and someone else.  

You might be asking how that could be love.  I can say that it is when distancing is done by the leading of the Holy Spirit.  When I distance in the flesh, it only brings harm to others or myself.  When the Holy Spirit tells you to put some distance between yourself and someone else, it is for the protection of both parties. 

Sometimes, love requires correction to be given.  If it is done in love, you will get no enjoyment from it.  We live in a culture that is adamant in avoiding offense.  While I am not suggesting that we purposely offend others, I am stating that we have to stop the facade of being politically correct, in a manner of speaking.

People are often tempted to sweep the truth under the rug to keep the peace.  When we avoid the truth to keep from being offensive, we are not walking in love.  It is the act of selfishness to allow someone with whom we are close to persist in a destructive behavior simply because we do not want to deal with it.  We are doing no favors for anyone.

In order to bring a proper balance to my words, I will say that much prayer and time in Bible study should be done before speaking the truth.  Timing is important, and our heavenly Father knows when the time is right.  We only need to follow His leading.

Look up the following scriptures and write them in your own words.

John 13:34-35 ______________________________________

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1 Corinthians 16:14 __________________________________

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Ephesians 4:2 ______________________________________

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Colossians 3:14 ____________________________________

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1 Peter 4:8 ________________________________________

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1 John 4:7-8 _______________________________________

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In closing of today’s lesson and the first week of our study, choose at least two of the above scripture references to write a prayer below asking the Lord to help you to show love in the Spirit to those who need it.

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(If you are memorizing Colossians, add verse 8 when you are comfortable with 1-7).

The Fullness of God in Jesus Christ_ A Study on the Book of Colossians Written By_ Allison Amber Mitchell

 

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