(By Ruth Potter)
I’m so thankful for all of my praying friends! When we are brought into God’s family, we receive the Spirit of adoption, which allows us to have dynamic, vibrant communion with the living God. And God who is love, calls us to a relational life of love. The New Testament speaks of the centrality of love. Jesus summed up the law by saying the most important thing in life is: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mat. 22:37-39). When we love God above all things, our relationship with God and those who are created in His image will grow.
The Great Commandment is essential in the body of Christ. To the Corinthian church that was troubled with pride and divisions, Paul says there is “a most excellent way” (1 Cor. 12:31). It’s the way of love:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance (1 Cor. 13:4-7).
God calls us to love and to grow in Christ-like character. The gifts of the Spirit are to be undergirded by the fruit of the Spirit.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things” (Gal. 5:22, 23).
Spiritual fruit unifies the body of Christ and enables us to fellowship face-to-face, and work side-by-side. Though we are diverse in personality and gifts, we are one in the Spirit. God is transforming our character to make us more like Christ.
We have the great privilege of being loved by God and being a channel of His love to others. We can demonstrate God’s love in many practical ways, but today I want to underscore that when we glorify God and bless others through prayer, it is a powerful act of love. Our God hears our prayers and can move heaven and earth to help us. When I recognize my own weakness, and the wonderful resource that God has given me in prayer, I can only say, “Thank you, Lord!”