Wings As Eagles: The Fruit of the Spirit - Love

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Fruit of the Spirit - Love

Last Wednesday we started studying the Fruit of the Spirit for kid's club. Our first fruit was love; represented by an orange. Jena cut out large trees to stick on the wall for the kids to put fruit on for each verse they memorize. We had orange juice to drink which went right along with the fruit theme.

We start our class time by Jena leading the memory verse review and saying the verse several times by playing a game with it. Then we pray, talk about prayer requests and have refreshments that various people in the church provide for each evening. Next is our Bible lesson time and then fun and game time for the remainder of the evening until parents come to pick up their kids.

Memory Verse: I John 3:16
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Bible Lesson: I first explained what the fruit of the Spirit is and then moved on to the our fruit for the evening - love.

What is the fruit of the Spirit?
Open your Bible, find and read Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."

The fruit of the spirit the Bible is talking about is not fruit that we eat, but godly character traits or attitudes that we as believers in Jesus Christ should have. If you believe that Jesus died on the cross for you to save you from your sins, you are a believer in Him and God commands us to have these attitudes. The word, Spirit, is capitalized, telling us that it is the Holy Spirit in us that helps us produce these attitudes.

"Ross, what is your favorite fruit?", I asked. Ross responded with, "Peaches!. So here's my illustration...just think of some emotion with it! It was so funny to see the kids faces when I did this! I said the following in one big rush, holding their attention. Went better than I planned, so I embellished a little as I was talking. :)

Ross loves peaches so he plants a peach tree in the spring. He waters it and watches it grow. It grows taller and taller and weeks and weeks go by. The tree trunk grows LARGE and TALL with branches FULL of green leaves. Ross goes outside every day, waters the tree and looks at how tall it's growing and how full and luscious the green leaves look! Oh, how he can't wait to see peaches on that tree!!! (All eyes are watching me, waving my arms, imagining this large and beautiful tree!)

He keeps waiting and waiting, taking care of the tree, watering it. He looks and looks for peaches. The tree gets taller and taller and more and more branches start growing with beautiful, large leaves! Every day he looks for a sign on the peaches, but......nothing. The summer months go by and soon fall is here. There should be peaches galore on that tree, but......nothing. Just a large trunk with beautiful green trees. Ross is so disappointed that the yummy peaches he has looked forward to for so long aren't there. The tree was useless; it did not produce any peaches.

It's the same way with us. Sometime are just like that peach tree; we grow, but we aren't producing any fruit. But God doesn't want us just to look nice, He wants us to produce fruit. And that doesn't mean that you will wake up one morning with a peach growing from your arm. (A few laughs at that!) No, we are supposed to have the attitudes that God describes in the Bible as the Fruit of the Spirit.

Fruit of Love - Orange

What does it mean?
Love in the Bible has different meanings in different verses. In this verse, love means to make a choice. To make a choice that leads to willing service. Seeking the greater good of someone else above your own wants. Love is a choice we make to help others and do what is best for them.

Who is our example?
The Bible gives us many examples of people who showed love to others, but the greatest example is Jesus Christ. John 15:13 says, " Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." Jesus gave us the ultimate example of love by dying on the cross for us. Do you think He enjoyed being nailed to a cross? Do you think He liked the pain that came from that?

No, but He willingly did that for us. Because He loved us THAT much. Because He knew that would be good for save us from our sins. He set aside what He wanted to do and died for us. John 15:12 says, "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." God commands us to follow His example of love. We are supposed to love others. That doesn't mean we should die on the cross for someone, but we are to put their needs above our own. Do things for them that would be pleasing and honoring to God.

How can we show love to others?
What are some ways you can show love to someone in your family? How about when your mom buys groceries and she is carrying in all those sacks from the car? What should you do to your bed when you get up in the morning and get ready for school? What do you do with your plate when you are finished eating? How about the chores Dad and Mom expect you to do? Do you do them without being told or do your parents have to keep reminding you?

I had each of the kids write down one thing they could do this week to help and show love for someone in their family on two dye cut oranges. Then they hung them one up in the tree on my sketch pad and the other one they took home to remind them to do it. Next week we will pick the oranges from the tree and see if they produced the fruit of love the previous week. (see first photo for orange tree)

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