Fruit of the Spirit: Love Pt.2

6.9.23 Devo Image

But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.”—Colossians 3:14 (NKJV)

It seems like every time you turn on your phone or log into your inbox someone is asking (and that’s putting it kindly) you to take some sort of survey for them. So, in keeping with the times, let’s take a brief spiritual survey. This won’t take more than a minute of your time, I promise!

Question number 1: Do you think compassion and mercy are good qualities to possess?  

Question number 2: Do you think moral purity and integrity of character are good qualities to possess?  

Question number 3: Do you think genuine humility and modesty are good qualities to possess?  

Question number 4: Do you think gentleness and calm are good qualities to possess?

Question number 5: Do you think patience and perseverance are good qualities to possess?

Question number 6: Do you think forgiveness is a good quality to possess? 

Hopefully, you answered “yes” to each of these questions. We not only want to be surrounded by people who possess these qualities, but we also want to be people who have them ourselves. In the above verse, as the apostle Paul writes to the church of Colossae, he explains how someone can experience each of these characteristics in their lives, because these are the traits Paul is referring to when he writes, “these things.” 

Now, we already agree that “these things” are all wonderful. But notice how Paul puts something above of them by writing “above all these things.” What’s above, or greater than, mercy, patience, integrity, forgiveness, etc.? The answer is love!

This is the “love” identified in the original Greek language as agape love. It’s the unconditional and selfless form of love that seeks out the wellbeing of others, even at the expense of itself. This is the quality of love that God exercises towards us, the motivating force that led Him to send His Son to suffer and die for our sin, the power that flipped the script on the devil’s dominion over us, and the factor that stood between eternal torment and eternal blessing. It’s also the love that God pours into our hearts by the operation of the Holy Spirit, enabling us to be like Him and relate to others as He relates to us (Romans 5:5).

Paul doesn’t just put this characteristic above the others, he also describes it as “the bond of perfection.” What does that mean exactly? If you’ve ever pulled a ligament, you can get an idea of what Paul is driving at here. For our physical bodies are bonded and held together in place by a complex network of connective ligaments that allows fluidity but provides stability. That’s how God’s love works in relation to all of these other qualities. It binds them together, holding them in place but also allowing for them to freely flow . . . and it does so perfectly!

Do you need to forgive someone? Love empowers you to do that. Do you need to exercise humility? Love gives you what you need to do that. Do you need to exercise integrity, mercy, patience, or gentleness towards someone? Love makes it all happen! There’s nothing good that love can’t enable us to accomplish. Above all these things, look to love and allow it to be all sufficient at all times!

Pause: What is love’s relationship to “all these things?” How should this be reflected in the way we live?

Practice: Take the survey above and consider which of the qualities you need growth in. What does this passage direct you to do about that?

Pray: Lord, I acknowledge my deep need for Your love in my life to enable me to be and behave as You call me to. I ask for a mighty filling from Your Spirit of Your love and ask that You lead me in how I am to exercise it. Thank You for giving me all I need as I need it through Your love. Amen.

About the Author

Pastor Dan Hickling

Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.