Beginning a new series on 'The fruit of the Spirit' the first of which is . . . LOVE

What is love?

Here are some examples of what people think love is . . .

Show ‘Love is’ 14 powerpoint slides…(These can be viewed on the website

I was watching ‘Beauty and the Beast’ on television last week, some of you will know the story well.(* OPTIONAL: Have handy TWO SETS OF DRESSING UP CLOTHES. One for Beauty, the other for a Beast. )

Invite two children to put the costumes on as I tell them the story.

The story is about a prince who was once changed into a beast by a magic spell. He was told he would die at the age of 21, if he could not find someone who would love him. He kept a magic rose in his room, and by the falling of its petals, he knew when he was to die.

One day he meets a beautiful girl called Beauty and he keeps her prisoner in his castle.

Eventually he begins to love her, but when he sees she is so very unhappy, (because she is worried about her father) he lets her go. . . . even though it means he will die.

When asked by his servant why he let her go, he replies, “Because I love her!”

He so desperately wants to live himself, and live a life with Beauty; but because her happiness is more important to him, he puts her first.

There’s no greater love than someone who is willing to do this.

Love isn’t about owning, or taking, or grabbing or bullying.

Jesus spoke a lot about love that is REAL. He had a way of showing us HOW to love;

First he said, to those who were his friends, “Love another! As I have loved you, so you must love one another!”

Then he also SHOWED them how to do this by washing the feet of his friends, at his very last meal with them.

He SHOWED them how to do this by giving up his life for them. Just like the Beast was prepared to do for Beauty.

He SHOWED them he loved them by sending the Holy Spirit to be there for them and to fill their lives, when he had gone back to heaven.

HOW will we know when the Spirit of God has touched our lives?

Just imagine we are trees . . .In winter we have bare twigs

In spring we have buds, and then blossom...In summer the fruit begins to form,

and at last in August the fruit hangs heavy on the trees!

But the fruit of the Spirit is not like conkers, apples, or pears . . .the fruit of the spirit is made up of LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL.

The bible tells us we must ‘put on’ all these like clothing. We make a decision, and we do it.

Just like making a choice to PUT ON clothes...(*point to the children who dressed up in costumes)But the MOST IMPORTANT piece that should COVER everything is LOVE.

Do WE put others first?Is there anyone we don’t like? Is there anyone we could love a little more? Play Song: ‘Holy Spirit, living breath of God’ by Stuart Townend