Key Text: Proverbs 10:12 & James 5:20 & 1Peter 4:8
Love is the most important part of the fruit of God’s Spirit, 1Cor. 13:13. Since love grows as fruit, we should be patient with ourselves and God in creating more love in our heart. God has been trying to grow love in his children’s heart for centuries, Duet. 6:5. He has always known and shown us that we need our hearts circumcised in order for love to grow, Duet. 30:6. With other worldly things growing in our heart, there is no room for God’s love to grow in our heart. Even a human love is a threat against the growth of God’s love, Matthew 10:37.
The nature of God’s love is that it needs a determined place in our heart to grow. Once it starts to grow, it covers a multitude of sins by initiating forgiveness. God is love, 1John 4:8, and He is rich in mercy, Eph. 2:4, therefore honest Christians will find a natural inclination to desire it and imitate it. Because it iss by God’s great mercy we are being saved and made heirs of eternal life, Titus 3:5 & 1Peter 1:3. Christ extended mercy to the prostitute in John 8:1-11 and also to Peter, John 21:17, so we know His Spirit can extend mercy to others through ourselves who have tasted His mercy.
Forgiveness cannot be experienced without some amount of mercy being present in our heart. The nature of love is to make mercy shown. This is exactly the character of Christ right now as our High Priest, mediating for us before the Father, Hebrews 2:17. We need to look for this in our self and other Christians as we look for Jesus and his mercy, Jude v21, so we can more easily imitate it. This helps love grow. Actually mercy is indeed akin to the part of the fruit of the Spirit called, goodness & righteousness, James 3:17-18.
Even in the worst of time and in the midst of tragic heinous sinfulness, we can see mercy in the actions and words of victims offering forgiveness. If it were not for the love of God, this wise expression of love would never happen in a human heart. To remain bitter and shut out a love that can grow, is to harm our self even more than the sin itself hurt us in the first place! Therefore we know it’s foolishness to neglect growing love & mercy, and it’s wise to give God everything He needs in our heart, so forgiveness can happen. But, sometimes forgiveness is impossible. Why? Because sometimes some people don’t want to be forgiven. Forgiveness only takes place on two way streets between people who will communicate and consider the love of God. Both the offender and the offended are obligated to try and let God’s love grow, in their understanding of why sin is so prevalent in our lives of the offender, Mt 5:23‑24, and the offended, Mt 18:15‑17. It is God’s will that one of us takes the initiative!