By Benjamin H. Liles
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. ~ Galatians 5:22-23, Holman Christian Standard
When we look into God's word, the holy scriptures, we see how much God desires us to show the same love, mercy, and grace He's shown to us. In fact, He said this: "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:35, Berean Study). It's the kind of love that comes from such a forgiven heart in which the Spirit of God resides fully in a believer. It's the heart of that person that cries out, "God, have mercy on me, a sinner!" (Luke 18:!3).
And that's the thing here. Paul is saying in that passage in Galatians 5, that there is no law against having God's Spirit; in having a heart that cries out, "Lord, have mercy!" Think on it this way: Let's say you were one of the few people Jesus came to talk to and eat with. As He comes to sit and eat a woman comes up and starts crying and she remains before Jesus anointing Him with her tears and putting perfume on His feet (see Luke 7:36-50). He ends up telling this Pharisee who invited Him into his home, "I tell you, because her many sins have been forgiven, she has loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little" (Luke 7:47).
The heart that loves the Lord with all of who they are has been completely forgiven by Jesus Christ. It's the reason why when those of us who cry out to Him, "Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner" can we even hope to be loved in return. It's having that honest, true, and childlike faith that Christ can and will forgive us fully. He extends to us His love, His peace; His patience and kindness; from this He extends His goodness, His faithfulness; His gentleness and self-control. It's not something we drudge up on our own. It's something only the grace of God can do.
It's where God keeps His word in which He gave to His prophet: "And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart" (Ezekiel 26:26, New Living Translation). So, if anything the fruit the Spirit gives to us isn't just a one-time deal. He gives to us in abundance when we seek Him and His will in our lives. It's my hope and prayer that these words find their mark for and with you. That the love of Christ made be known to you. Friend, He dearly loves you and desires you to know Him more fully. Come walk with Him. Be one of those who say confidently, "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him" (Psalm 34:8). I pray these words help. In the name of Christ Jesus. Amen.