Demonstrate GOD’S LOVE every day in WORDS & ACTION: “And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” (1 Thess. 3:12-13)
While writing his first letter to the Thessalonian believers, Apostle Paul pauses for a brief moment and makes a short prayer for them that he adds in his letter for their information. His prayer reveals his genuine concern for them as it bridges the narrative from the previous portion (chapters 1–3) to the exhortations in the next portion (chapters 4–5). Paul had previously asked God the Father and his Lord Jesus Christ to clear the way so he and his fellow missionaries could return to Thessalonica. Now Paul prayed that the Lord would cause the believers’ love to increase and overflow even more among themselves and toward all people so that they would be free from any reasonable charge whenever Christ might return to the earth.
The prayers of Apostle Paul in this epistle reveals that he has a three-fold desire (“prayer”) from God for the Thessalonian believers: (1) that God the Father would direct His path back to them as soon as possible; (2) that the Lord Jesus would cause their love to continue to grow beyond all limits both among themselves; and (3) that the Lord Jesus would cause their love to also abound toward others outside the church. Paul had sincerely wanted that the Thessalonian believers would increase and abound in love, along the lines of his later phrases “more and more” (4:1), “just as you also are doing” (5:11). Through this love, Paul desired to see the Thessalonian believers standing fast in holiness when the Lord Jesus returns one day to examine them!
Let us understand that love is the magnet that draws believers together, and attracts unbelievers to Christ. The core of Paul’s prayer was that the Thessalonians would love each other more and more. The love for others springs from God’s goodness, forbearance and patience towards us (Rom. 2:4). It is not the rule of God’s Law but His goodness and love that leads people to the saving faith in His Son Jesus Christ. In fact, Christ had told His disciples that His followers would be identified by their love for one another.
As followers of Jesus Christ, let us demonstrate God’s love in our lives every day in an ever-increasing measure. We should abound more and more in a lifestyle that pleases God (4:1), and we have to increase more and more in brotherly love as well (4:9-10). However, this love is only possible because it comes from God’s limitless resources (v. 12) for God is love (1 John 4:8b). Our limited ability to love does not change God’s limitless power to love through us! Let us love more and more as we demonstrate God’s love every day in our words and action!
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34-35)