Galatians 5:22-23 "Where is the Love?" with Pastor Michael Petit of Calvary Chapel Devine's weekly Devotion.
Galatians 5:22-25 But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
I remember before Christ a song by the Black-Eyed Peas called "Where is Love?" in the song there is a line that says "Can you practice what you are preaching'?", it is really true the church needs to start practicing what they preach, especially when it comes to love. We have seen so much divide in our nation but even in the church today. Love is what the followers of Christ are supposed to be known by, yet most are known by their political parties, social justice, or medical mandates issues. The love being described in Galatians 5:22 as it speaks about "Agape" love it is a love that gives and expects nothing in return. It is sacrificial Agape unconquerable love of Christ. Sacrificial love you can't do it in your flesh, but in the Holy Spirit. Fruit of the Spirit meaning we walk in the Spirit. Fruit of the Spirit is Love, love doesn't parade itself love isn't puffed up.
Galatians 5:22-25 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Love is what we should be known by, but we get so wrapped in division of current events, social or political division and it bleeds into the church. Sadly we have many that have much knowledge of theology and scripture but can not practically apply love in their marriage, family or even church. In the Book of John 13:35, Jesus reminds us to be His disciples, we must love one another.
John 13:35 ESV
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Jesus reminds us we can not do anything apart from him in the Book of John 15:5, Fruit doesn't grow over night. We need our dependence to be on Jesus.
John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
The Fruit of the Spirit is bond by love, but most of us are just clanging cymbals as we divide the church further and further, cause we speak not with love, you may have great knowledge and faith but without love it is nothing but noise.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Most of us know 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 as wedding verses but the chapter is discussing the importance of agape love in our daily walks.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[a] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
What if you were to place your name where the word love (agape) is in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7? Like Mike is patient and kind. I am? Mike does not envy or boast? Mike does not insist on its own way? Changes the way we look at that verse. Pastor Chuck Smith suggested that and I agree when I read it that way I realize Mike needs some work. Maybe I am that noisy clang or cymbal at times cause the love I express isn't from the fruit of the Spirit "Agape love". Maybe I expect something in return. You naturally only love those that love you back. Agape love allows you to love those that deserve love the least. Jesus was asked about the great commandment and it is no surprise it dealt with love.
Matthew 22:34-40 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets. After reading this scripture, have you totally surrendered your life to Love God and love one another?
So as a follower of Christ you have no excuse to not love. Lord provides all of us plenty of opportunity to practice love everyday. First, we are to Love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind, love your neighbor, love your wife as Christ loved the church and even if your not getting along with your spouse, family member, friends or co-workers then love your enemies. No excuse.
Just remember fruit trees take time to grow. Never came by a apple tree that produced fruit on day one. No, it's the natural byproduct over time, good soil, water and over time it produces fruit. Same with us we tend the soil and water it with the word of God, keep the weeds out (the world and sin) and we live in obedience to the Lord. We are to be an example of Love, but Agape Love. For believers the Apostle Paul gave Timothy some great wisdom in 1 Timothy 4. We are to be the example and as he list each thing love is listed, it is to be practiced in our daily relationship with the Lord.
1 Timothy 4:11-12 Command and teach these things.  Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
Lord please help us grow in obedience and that we would be known by our love for one another, our love for our neighbors, love for enemies and most of all to love the Lord with all our heart, mind and soul.
Being Devoted to Prayer- Are you playing or praying? The two disciplines that people struggle with the most is the word and prayer.
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
“Pray Earnestly” This is why I’m so convicted because I do not believe we are a church that prays desperately, and I apologize for that. I do not believe we are a people who cry out to God like we really need Him. Sure, we come with our list of things that we want or desire, but there is no desperation.
Leonard Ravenhill said, “Revival tarries because there is a lack of urgency in prayer in the church.”
He went on, and said, “Hell has nothing to fear but a God anointed, prayer-powered church.” And based on that, hell is simply not afraid of church in America right now.”
Samuel Chadwick put it best, he said, “The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing of prayer less studies, prayer less work, and prayer less religion. He laughs at our toil; he mocks at our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray.” And we are a people who know how to do the promotion and we know how to do the plans and we know how to do the programs. We can do them in our sleep, but have we done all those things while leaving prayer behind.
Let’s look at practically
Nehemiah 1:4 ESV
As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
Nehemiah is a great example of a pray life and strong intimate relationship with God. We often approach prayer to get something good or avoid a bad consequence rather than to develop an intimate relationship with God. Prayer and the word are the two disciplines that we struggle with.
Nehemiah 1:4-11 ESV
As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.  And I said, “O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,
• Adoration- Nehemiah 1:5 And I said, “O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,
Nehemiah 1:6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father's house have sinned.  We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses.
• Confession-Nehemiah 1:6-7
Nehemiah 1:8 Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples,  but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.’
• Thanksgiving- Nehemiah 1:8
Nehemiah 4:10] They are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand.  O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” Now I was cupbearer to the king.
• Supplication- Nehemiah 1:11
Prayer is the means to an intimate relationship with God. The problem is that we often approach prayer as a means to get something good or avoid a bad consequence rather than to develop an intimate relationship with God.
Relationships require time. Intimate relationships are fashioned through time together. If we want healthy relationships with our spouse, our kids, our friends, or our God, we need to spend time with them. The obstacle is that no one seems to have enough time. Our priorities are reflected by our allocation of this precious resource...time. We generally believe that we don’t have time to pray. We must take time away from other valuable areas and devote that time to develop a life-transforming, intimate relationship with God through prayer.
Prayer is not a performance, but a dialogue of intimacy with God. Prayer helps to change us and helps us to find God’s will. Prayer is like sitting down to a meal with God and getting to know Him. The purpose is to cultivate a relationship rather than fulfill a function or perform a task.
Pastor Michael Petit
"Third Foundational Pillar: Breaking of Bread." Acts 2:42. with Pastor Michael Petit. Calvary Chapel Devine Devotion.
Devoted to the breaking of bread- Two phrases in Acts 2:42 may need explanation. “Breaking of bread” probably refers to their regular meals, but at the close of each meal, they probably paused to remember the Lord by observing what we call “the Lord’s Supper.” Bread and wine were the common fare at a Jewish table.
The church regularly prioritized worship, reflected in the breaking of bread (i.e., the Lord’s Supper) and prayer
1 Corinthians 11:23-30 ESV
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread,  and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”  For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.  Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord.  Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.  That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.
Communion is full of symbolism in its simplicity. It is neither essential for salvation nor is it a means to salvation. Instead it is a holy and serious ordinance not to be treated lightly.
It is possible to bring dishonor and insult to the very body of Jesus Christ by coming to Communion hurriedly and without self-analysis or self-judgment.
Psalm 139:23-24 ESV
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!  And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
So Communion is a time for us to pray that God’s Spirit would help us understand ourselves rightly so that we can repent where necessary and enjoy intimate fellowship with him as he leads us in the everlasting way.
Acts 2:46 ESV
And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts.
"Even living so close to the time when Jesus was crucified, they still never wanted to forget what He did on the cross. How much more important is it for us to never forget?" David Guzik