Galatians 5:22 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love.

Many today will be celebrating what is called Valentine’s Day, a day that has been set aside to remember those we love. The love of the world has deep roots in the natural and the sensuous dimensions of love. This is not wrong when kept in the context of God’s designs for a man and woman. Paul contrasts love with the deeds of the flesh. This is why Paul uses the conjunction “but” as he begins his statement about the fruit of the Spirit, which consists of nine parts. Paul begins with “love.”

Love is the singular action that connects us to God and to one another. Jesus summed up the law with the word “love” in Matthew 22:37. In the upper room, Jesus gave His disciples a New Commandment, “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). Love is central to the work of the Spirit because it comes from the very nature of God Himself, who is love. God’s love is like light, revealing the darkness of the works of the flesh.

Whether speaking of redemption or operating in the gifts of the Spirit, love must always be the motivating force. Agape love is the Father’s love, a love which is always putting others first. The Holy Spirit always leads with others in mind. He came because of others, He convicts because of others, and He saves because of God’s love for others. In everything you do, think, “How does this affect others?” Become one who is thinking about the other person. You can only do this by the power of the Holy Spirit. Our basic nature is a self-nature, but the Holy Spirit wants to produce in us Christ’s nature. His nature is a love nature. He cannot help Himself because He is Love.

Today, ask for Christ’s nature to be revealed and fully matured in you. Ask the Holy Spirit to fully accomplish the work of maturity in your life. Celebrate this day with a choice to yield to the Holy Spirit and let Him release the love of God through you to all those you touch.