(Galatians 5:16-24 ESV)
 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.  Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,  idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,  envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
1. The source of love is God
● 1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.
● 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.
● John 15:9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
2. Loving others is the Christian’s first responsibility.
● Matthew 22:37-39  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.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
● 1 John 4:20  If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
3. Love is an act of the will not emotions.
● “Christian love, either towards God or towards man, is an affair of the will. Love in the Christian sense, does not mean an emotion. It is a state not of feelings but of the will; that state of the will which we have naturally about ourselves, and must learn to have about other people.” C.S. LEWIS
4. The capacity to love grows.
● Philippians 1:9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment
5. Dwell in the love of God in Christ daily.
● Ephesians 3:14, 18-19  For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,...  may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,  and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
1. Read Galatians 5:16-24.
2. Identify the 9 fruit of the Spirit. Why do you think love is mentioned first on this list?
3. We learned that God is the source of our love as Christians (1 John 4:19, John 15). How does God love you? Share your experience.
4. Read this quote from CS Lewis, “Christian love, either towards God or towards man, is an affair of the will. Love in the Christian sense, does not mean an emotion. It is a state not of feelings but of the will; that state of the will which we have naturally about ourselves, and must learn to have about other people.” Why do we need to love others not from our emotions but with our will? Share an example of someone you love who you don’t feel like loving?
5. Have you become more loving as you are getting older? What are Paul’s prayers in Phil. 1:9 and Eph. 3:18-19?
6. How can you deepen your understanding of the love of God in Christ so that you can be more loving?
7. Who is someone you can start loving more this week?