When we erect windmills or wind turbines to pump water or generate electricity, we may say that we are “harnessing” the power of the wind. However, we are not really harnessing the wind as it blows where it desires and we cannot control it (Ecclesiastes 8:8. John 3:8). The wind is actually following the sun as it directs its light upon our planet causing it to heat up which results in convection currents in our atmosphere that we call the wind (i.e., wind power is actually controlled by solar or “Sun” power).
Consequently, it is more accurate to say we are cooperating or getting in “harmony” with the wind so that its tremendous ability benefits our lives by producing electricity or drawing water, etc. That is, the wind will do the work for us if we locate the windmill where it is blowing. Nevertheless, we must expend effort to erect the windmill where the wind is known to be consistently blowing, but then we effortlessly receive the benefit of the wind doing the work!
Similarly, we Christians cannot harness the Holy Spirit (1) to do our work as He follows the “Son” of God doing and saying what He directs (John 15:26. John 16:13). However, we can come into harmony with Him by living our lives where He chooses to manifest. In other words, we can seek to be where the Holy Wind of God blows (2). To do this, we must expend effort to study the Bible, memorize scripture, fast, pray, worship, fellowship with other believers, and minister to others, etc. However, the Holy Spirit then causes His fruit to grow effortlessly in our lives giving us the character of Christ as we practice these Christian disciplines (John 15:4,5).
Realize, we can no more grow the fruit of the Spirit in our lives on our own than we can cause the windmill to pump water without the wind. We could turn the blades by hand with some appearance of pumping water, but it is not sustainable without much effort. Similarly, we can act like we are Christlike but it is not sustainable without much effort and during times of crisis what is in our hearts will come out of our mouths (Luke 6:45).
Therefore, let us go where the Wind of God is blowing and cooperate with Him in growing His fruit (1) in our lives. A question for you – what is the first fruit of the Spirit listed in the Bible? Answer: The first fruit that the Holy Spirit grows in our lives is love! (Galatians 5:22,23) Note that I said the first fruit that “the Holy Spirit grows” not that we grow in our ability but rather He grows as we are we in harmony with Him (remember the windmill).
Furthermore, realize without the love of God in our lives we have no evidence that we are different than those that are lost in the world (John 13:35). Nevertheless, by learning 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 by heart – that is, by continuously thinking on and acting on its tenets – the love of God will transform our personality into that of Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit. One result will be that the lost people of the World will see God in and through us (1 John 4:12). Therefore, let us live in the Wind of God and allow Him to cause His fruit to grow in our lives as we explore this love together:
Agape (3) – The transliterated Greek word for a love that recognizes the worthiness of the object loved. This love consists of the soul’s sense of the value and preciousness of its object and its response to its recognized worth in admiring affection. A love which sacrifices itself for the benefit of the object loved, that object being both unlovely and unlovable, and a bitter enemy of the one who loves. A love of devotion not of emotion. Phileo (4) is the transliterated Greek word for the love of emotion.
Love’s Nature: (5)
Love meekly and patiently bears ill treatment from others. (Wuest) (1 Corinthians 13:4)
Love is patient. This is the normal attitude of Love. Love passive, love waiting to begin, not in a hurry, calm, ready to do its work when the summons comes but meantime wearing the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:3,4). For Love understands, and therefore waits even with people that are not rich, influential or powerful. It does not rush people but rather gives them time to grow (2 Timothy 2:24). Patience is the ability to have a Christlike attitude while waiting. (Matthew 5:5)
Love is kind, gentle, benign, pervading and penetrating the whole nature, mellowing all which would have been harsh and austere. (Wuest) (1 Corinthians 13:4)
Love active. Think about how much of Christ’s life was spent in doing kind things – in merely doing kind things! (Acts 10:38) God has put in our power the happiness of those around us, and that is in large part to be secured by our being kind to them (1 John 3:18). One of the greatest things a man can do for his Heavenly Father is to be kind to some of His other children (Matthew 25:40). Kindness is the quality of being warm-hearted, considerate, humane and sympathetic. (Matthew 5:7) However, kindness has the toughness to confront others with their shortcomings and helps them overcome them. (Proverbs 27:5,6,17. Hebrews 10:24)
[Love] is not envious. (Wuest) (1 Corinthians 13:4)
Love is not envious. This is Love even when in competition with others. Whenever you attempt a good work, you will find others doing the same kind of work, and probably doing it better. Envy them not. Envy is a feeling of ill will to those who are in the same line as us, a spirit of covetousness and detraction. Love is generous in its opinion of others. It enjoys the success of others! (1 Corinthians 12:26. Romans 12:15) If you only enjoy recognized personal achievements, then you will feel rejected much of the time. It remembers that in the world we cannot control how others will respond to us, but we can control how we respond to others. (James 3:13-18)
Love does not brag, nor does it show itself off, is not ostentatious, does not have an inflated ego. (Wuest) (1 Corinthians 13:4)
To put a seal on your lips and forget what you have done. After you have been kind, after Love has stolen forth into the world and done its beautiful work, go back into the shade again and say nothing about it. Love hides even from itself. Love waives even self-satisfaction. It is humble in relationships with others (Romans 12:16). It is not on an ego or power trip. It remembers that leadership is serving others. Love does not boast is not puffed up. (Matthew 6:1-4. Philippians 2:2-4)
[Love] does not act unbecomingly. (Wuest) (1 Corinthians 13:5)
This is Love in society, Love in relation to etiquette, Love in little things. The secret of politeness is to Love. Love cannot behave itself unseemly. Love is courteous. Love is friendly. Love has good manners. It treats other with dignity even if they do not seem to deserve it. Love is courteous with good manners. (1 Peter 4:9. Galatians 6:10)
[Love] does not seek after things which are its own. (Wuest) (1 Corinthians 13:5)
Love does not seek even that which is her own. This is the giving up of not just our rights but of ourselves. To be abandoned to God’s will and purpose for our lives. Remember that there is no greatness in things – greatness is only found in unselfish love. There is no happiness in having, or in getting, but only in giving – for Life consists of giving and serving (Acts 20:35). Love is unselfish and selfless. (Romans 12:10-13)
[Love] is not irritated, provoked, exasperated, aroused to anger. (Wuest) (1 Corinthians 13:5)
Ill temper is the vice of the virtuous. The one blot on an otherwise noble character is to be easily ruffled, quick-tempered, or have a touchy disposition. An evil temper can cause the name of Christ to suffer more than vice, worldliness, greed, or even drunkenness. Temper is significant in not only what it is but even more so in what it reveals. Temper is the symptom of a lack of Christ conformity within our souls. However, souls are not made sweet by taking the acid out but rather by putting the Spirit of Christ within. Love is even-tempered even with less powerful, rich or influential people. Love is not easily provoked. (James 1:19,20. Matthew 5:9. Matthew 5:43-48. Romans 12:14. Romans 12:17-21)
[Love] does not take into account the evil [which it suffers]. (Wuest) (1 Corinthians 13:5)
Guilelessness is the grace for suspicious people. Love imputes no ill motive, sees the bright side, and puts the best construction on every action. Love believes in others knowing this is what helps others to believe in themselves. Love believes the best in others giving the benefit of the doubt. Love leaves all judgment to God (Luke 6:37. 1 Corinthians 4:3). Love is guileless. (Matthew 5:8)
[Love] does not rejoice at the iniquity but rejoices with the truth. (Wuest) (1 Corinthians 13:6)
The self-restraint which refuses to take advantage of the faults of others. The Love which delights not in exposing the weakness of others, but covers them like a medicated bandage over a wound (Proverbs 10:12. Proverbs 17:9. 1 Peter 4:8. James 5:20). The sincerity of purpose which endeavors to see things as they are, and rejoices to find them better than suspicion feared or slander denounced. It gets no pleasure out of the shortcomings or failures of others. Love embraces those that fail, and it builds up those who have been hurt. It finds no room for racism or sexism. It is not full of hypocrisy or dishonesty. Love is sincere. (Matthew 5:9)
[Love] endures all things, believes all things, hopes all things, bears up under all things, not losing heart nor courage. Love never fails. (Wuest) (1 Corinthians 13:7,8)
Love quietly covers all things. Love does not give up for the Battle is the Lords (1). (Proverbs 21:31. Philippians 4:13) Love perseveres! (Habakkuk 3:17-19. Matthew 5:10-13)
1 Timothy 1:5
(1) Left-click to open a new Tab with more information on this topic.
(2) The Koine Greek word for “spirit” – transliterated as “pneuma” – is the same Greek word for “wind” or “breath”. I am not saying that the Holy Spirit (1) is the wind but rather using the analogy to emphasize a point.
(3) “Agapao(Ἀγαπαο)” speaks of a love which is awakened by a sense of value in an object which causes one to prize it. It springs from an apprehension of the preciousness of an object. It is a love of esteem and approbation. The quality of this love is determined by the character of the one who loves, and that of the object loved. Agapao (Ἀγαπαο) is used in John 3:16. God’s love for a sinful and lost race springs from His heart in response to the high value He places upon each human soul. Every sinner is exceedingly precious in His sight. “Phileo (Φιλεο),” which is another word for love, a love which is the response of the human spirit to what appeals to it as pleasurable, will not do here, for there is nothing in a lost sinner that the heart of God can find pleasure in, but on the contrary, everything that His holiness rebels against. But each sinner is most precious to God, first, because he bears the image of his Creator even though that image be marred by sin, and second, because through redemption, that sinner can be conformed into the very image of God’s dear Son. This preciousness of each member of the human race to the heart of God is the constituent element of the love that gave His Son to die on the Cross. The degree of the preciousness is measured by the infinite sacrifice which God made. The love in John 3:16 therefore is a love whose essence is that of self-sacrifice for the benefit of the one loved, this love based upon an evaluation of the preciousness of the one loved. Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Vol. 17, pp. 60–61). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NET)
(4) “Phileo(Φιλεο)” is a love which consists of the glow of the heart kindled by the perception of that in the object which affords us pleasure. It is the response of the human spirit to what appeals to it as pleasurable. The Greeks made much of friendship. The word was used to speak of a friendly affection. It is a love calledout of one in response to a feeling of pleasure or delight which one experiences from an apprehension of qualities in another that furnish such pleasure or delight. “Agapao(Ἀγαπαο)” on the other hand, speaks of a love which is awakened by a sense of value in the object loved, an apprehension of its preciousness. “Phileo(Φιλεο)” is found in Revelation 22:15;Matthew 6:5;10:37;23:6;Luke 20:46;John 11:3,36;I Corinthians 16:22. Those who find pleasure in a lie and thus love it, will go to a lost eternity. Hypocrites find pleasure in ostentatious prayer and thus love it. Those that take more delight in father or mother than in God, love them better and for that reason. Our Lord found delight in the response of the heart of Lazarus to his own and thus loved him. God has a love of delight in those whose love for Jesus is based upon their delight in him. “Phileo(Φιλεο)” like “Agapao(Ἀγαπαο)” has its quality determined by the character of the one who loves and of the object loved. “Agapao (Ἀγαπαο)” is a love springing from a sense of the preciousness of the object loved, while “Phileo (Φιλεο)” arises from a sense of pleasure found in the object loved. When used in a good meaning, both are legitimate, but the first is the nobler word. In John 21: our Lord uses “agapao (ἀγαπαο)” in verses 15 and 16, “phileo (φιλεο)” in 17. Peter uses “phileo (φιλεο)” three times. Our Lord uses the noblest word in the Greek language the first two times and changes to Peter’s word the third time, but assures Peter that his coming martyrdom speaks of the fact that his future love for his Lord will be based not only upon his delight in his Lord but upon his apprehension of His preciousness. “Phileo (Φιλεο)” is used in John 16:27. The saints have a love for the Lord Jesus which springs from their joy in Him, a love of delight. The Father has a love of delight in the saints, for He finds in each saint the One in whom He takes delight, the Lord Jesus, and because the saints find their delight in Him also. Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Vol. 17, pp. 62–63). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. (John 16:27 NET)
(5) Resources for the section on Love:
“The Greatest Thing in the World”, Authored by Henry Drummond in 1874, ISBN 1-55748-422-8, a partner with D.L. Moody
Tony Campolo (1992). Everything You’ve Heard is Wrong. Irving, Texas: Word Publishing.