1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 – And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: 13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
Timothy brought to Paul some good tidings from Thessalonica. What was the news? The members of the church were expressing love toward one another. Their faith, which was first placed in Jesus Christ as they heard the good news of the gospel, was now bearing fruit in love. The gospel, which means good news, is the same expression used by Paul to explain Timothy’s message. Paul knew that the Thessalonians were strong in faith in God and love toward one another (1:3), but trials and temptations have a way of changing people, which was a concern for the apostle (3:1-5). Having confirmed their steadfast faith and love (3:7-10), he wanted to supply what needed to be added for their growth. They had plenty of love for other Christians, but they needed to develop an overflowing love for everyone (3:12).
Christian love is best depicted as a cup that is overflowing its contents. The ultimate model is Jesus’ love for us (Psalm 23:5, John 15:3), who overflows our lives with love. Our relationships with others can be blessed, messed, or stressed! Our heart and habits should lead us to be blameless in our relationships (3:13, see also 2:10 and Matthew 5:9). We will never be perfect, but we can be free of charges of perpetuating turbulent interactions with others by dealing with our relational mistakes, as God requires. We should be holy in our hearts and habits.
Is your faith lacking in love? How loving are you to those who are not Christians? Love is good news! If you want to share the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection with unbelievers then you should start by loving them. Can you honestly say that your love overflows for all people? There is great joy in fellowship with other believers, but we cannot let our love end there. Pray that you will love everyone, looking to God as your model for loving the world.
Daily Reading: 1 Thessalonians 3:6-13
Bible Reading Challenge: 21 Days of Love
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