Our week three guest post comes from Jennifer Johns, who loves learning, living, and sharing the encouragement of a spiritual life in God with others. Jen writes GoingByFaith.com and prays you’re blessed by this study! You can find Jen on Twitter @GoingByFaith.
In Week 3 of Living Beyond Yourself by Beth Moore, we study how love exudes from every one of the nine characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit. But it is a love we can’t generate ourselves; this kind of love comes only from God. He develops this foundational fruit in our lives through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Our reading this week starts off with two types of worldly love: eros (grasping love) and philos (friendly love). Eros love is linked with human sexuality, longi,ng and desire, and philos love are linked with friendship, as it literally means “the love one has toward a friend or companion.”
Even with their positive attributes, neither of these forms of love are examples of God’s type of love. For example, how many times have we seen friendships form out of unsavory common interests? Or grow sour from betrayal? How often have we seen sexual love taken to destructive extremes or used to control and manipulate?
Standing in a class of its own, we learn that agape love, or the divine love of God, is an act of the Holy Spirit that results in our obedience. As Beth Moore puts it, agape is not as much a feeling as it is a response. It’s not an emotion we feel, but a command we are to follow. Unconditional and aligned with the highest interest, God pours agape love to us and through us via the Holy Spirit. It is because we were loved in this way first that we can love God and others.
On days three and four of the study, we read about the 14 characteristics of agape love and how God uses it in our lives. By day five we find a perfect demonstration of agape love in the life of Jesus Christ, and realize that having the capacity to love God requires a supernatural ability. How blessed we are to know we can call on the Holy Spirit to fill us with God’s love!
Week three of Living Beyond Yourself is a time when we see a real commitment for this study. We encourage you to stay the course. Pray for God to light a fire under those who are falling behind or tempted to stray from the study. On page 60 in the workbook, Beth writes about a special prayer. She asks the Lord to give her a supernatural love for the people she is teaching. Each day this week, pray and ask God to give you a supernatural love for your family, work or community.
Satan is out to destroy the church, which is best accomplished through destroying the family. -Beth Moore
Assignment For Next Week
- Listen to the Session Three Audio (optional)
- OR…Listen to the Session Three Video (optional)
- Read Week Four in the workbook