1 THESSALONIANS 3:12
“and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you;”
Paul is making a wish here – that the Thessalonians would increase and abound in love. Now, even though this was a wish he hoped to see come true, it was a pretty, sure wish. Paul had confidence that they would do just what he hoped. Why? Because he knew their love first hand. He had experienced their love. He knew they were quite capable.
These two words, “increase” and “abound,” mean very similar things. They can both mean more than enough, overflowing or abundant. Paul was simply trying to overemphasize the point to them. But it is important to remember that they could only “overflow” what was in them. This love came from an unending source – God.
Tell me this – do you ever run out of love for your children? Of course, not. And let me tell you, it’s even more true with your grandchildren. I have four (as of this writing), and the love I have for them just gets stronger each day. I don’t have that capacity in myself. Any love I feel for anyone comes from the love the Father has shown me.
I want to challenge you to let that love you have for family extend to your church family, to your neighbors and even to strangers. Teach your children to love abundantly. Teach them to overflow with love. Show them what that looks like, not just to them but with others.
If you will commit to love like that, you will experience an even deeper love of the Father. I know the Lord is well pleased when we love well. When He sees His love poured out on others through us, He smiles. After all, He still uses us to spread His Word and His love on this earth.
God of love, thank You for using me to love others. Help me to love those whom I find it hard to love. You can love them through me.