Love’s source and supplier

Have you ever wished you were more loving? A mountain of self-determination crumbles when all we’ve got is, “That’s not how I should treat them” or “My mom didn’t raise me like this.” How can we be more loving? Where does love flow from?

Galatians 5:22 tells us that, “The fruit of the Spirit is love.” So love’s supplier is the Holy Spirit. But how do we go from Him having it to us being loving? He could just do it, add it to us while we sleep. But Galatians 3:5 tells us that’s not how it happens, there is a specific way that the Spirit makes us more loving. It asks rhetorically, “Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?”

Let’s be honest, human rule following has never made anyone more loving. Paul is saying that the Spirit works miracles in us when we trust what God says. When we believe what God tells us – about who he is, what he has done, and who we are in Christ – and trust him, then the Holy Spirit flows in our lives. And one of the great miracles he works in us is to make us love! But Paul also makes this clear – the Spirit won’t do this work apart from faith in Jesus and his word.

Why? John Piper writes, “…the Holy Spirit loves to glorify the all-satisfying dependability of Christ and his Word.” When teaching about the Holy Spirit, Jesus said “He will glorify me” (John 16:14). It is His mission to help us love and honor and trust and see and treasure Christ. So the Spirit won’t just miraculously slip love into our lives. He produces love in our lives when Jesus is found to be our help and hope.

So if you want to be a loving person, pray for it. Ask for the Holy Spirit to supply love that overflows the banks of your life and pours into the lives of those around you. But as you do that, open God’s word and read it. See who God is and what he’s promised to be and do for you. Go with generation after generation of his saints to the Psalms, meditate on who he promises to be for you until he satisfies you in the morning with his steadfast love (Psa. 90:14). This will kill the fear and selfishness that stop you from loving, and the Spirit and his fruit of love will flow.


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