February 18

…the fruit of the Spirit is love… Galatians 5:22

God cannot create love.  That is the startling truth.  Love is a crop, God is the farmer, and we are the ground.  God cannot snap His fingers and create a harvest of love.  That would be like plastic wheat, or wax grapes – nice to look at, but inedible and unreal.  God creates the conditions in which love flourishes, and those conditions are summed up by the words ‘Holy Spirit’.  It is the incredibly fertile Presence of God in us that produces a harvest of love.  But it cannot be done without our co-operation.  The honour of being a human being is that God has granted us to be His own children, with the image of God in our hearts.  This is indeed an honour, but it also requires us to submit our wills joyfully to Him, and be indwelt and constantly filled with His love and holiness.  The result is that love buds in our hearts, and we find that there is a further blessing than just to be loved – which is to love both God and other people.  Truly this is blessedness – to be loved and to love.