Love is the primary law of the New Covenant. Jesus said so when He declared to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. Love is the heart of God for us and He wants it to be our heart toward others. One of the nine fruits of the Spirit is love according to Paul in Galatians 5. Some commentators have said love is the primary fruit of the Spirit and the other eight things mentioned are characteristics of the God kind of love.
No wonder the devil does everything in his power to cause us to act less than loving toward God and one another. If you look carefully at the “works” of the flesh in Galatians 5, they are all about abusing one another in some form or fashion. They are all designed to cause some type of offense that becomes deeply embedded in our hearts…the dwelling place of genuine love.
The result is a heart full of anger, bitterness and hatred towards others. It causes us to have a critical spirit. It causes us to divide people into categories. Those whom we will love and those whom we won’t. Those who we will accept and those whom we will not.
Every once in a while I have a moment of “inspiration” as it were. A moment of spiritual revelation that makes a truth incredibly practical. What would happen if we all looked through eyes of love rather than through critical eyes of judgement? Not through eyes that seek to “size one another up”, nor through eyes that seek to “discern the worth of another”, but rather through eyes of love without thought of the other being deserving.
1 Corinthians 13 (NASB95)
1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,
5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,
6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;
7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part;
10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.