The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. Isaiah 9:2
There is biblical significance to the number eight in the Bible. Eight stands for “new beginnings.” There is an interesting correlation with the nights of Chanukah and the Fruit of the Spirit, which our family will be meditating on during this year’s holiday season. For anyone who has seen a Chanukah menorah, there are obviously places for nine candles on it. The shamash candle, or “servant” candle is the one used to light all the other candles on each night of Chanukah – one for each night of the eight day celebration. The shamash is a symbol of Jesus as He came as a servant to light our hearts to Him as the path of salvation. He declared Himself to be the Messiah during the Festival of Dedication (John 10:22-42), solidifying in the hearts of His followers that He was the awaited Promised One.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
It is through love that we appropriate the fruits of the Spirit into our lives. We have love for the Father and His Son, therefore we walk in a manner pleasing to Him by putting on the other fruits. We love one another, which is the second part of the greatest commandment. We will be exploring verses related to each fruit during each night of Chanukah this year as we light the candles. Of course, there are a multitude of verses on these topics. Some of them will focus on the example God gave us to follow as He embodies each of these gifts in Himself. Others will focus on the characteristics He seeks to develop in His children by the Holy Spirit’s power.
Each night of Chanukah, as we light the first candle of love, we will read some verses about love, followed by readings for the additional gifts in order.
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
Colossians 3:14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
Matthew 5:43-45 You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
1 Corinthians 13
Mark 12:30-31 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 14:15 If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.
Romans 13:8 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.
Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh,
but through love serve one another.
Ephesians 4:1-2 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
1 Peter 1:22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart.
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
John 14:21 He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.
Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions.
John 15:10-11 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
James 1:2-3 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!
John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.
Isaiah 26:3 The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.
Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.
Romans 8:6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.
Psalm 119:165 Those who love Your law have great peace, and nothing causes them to stumble.
James 5:7-8 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.
Hebrews 10:36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
Colossians 3:12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Proverbs 19:17 One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his good deed.
Romans 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Galatians 6:10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
1 Samuel 12:24 Only fear the LORD and serve Him in truth with all your heart, for consider what great things He has done for you.
Proverbs 28:20 A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished.
Deuteronomy 28:1-2 Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God.”
Proverbs 3:3-4 Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.
Luke 16:10 He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.
Titus 3:2 Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.
1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;,
Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Philippians 2:3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.
Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom.
John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
Proverbs 25:28 Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit.
1 Peter 5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Proverbs 16:32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.
James 1:20 For the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.
Matthew 26:41 Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
1 Corinthians 9:24-25 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.