Robert Griffith | 4 July 2024
Robert Griffith
4 July 2024


2 Thessalonians 1:3  “We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.”

Let me ask a question: as you grow in your faith, is your love increasing more and more?  Christian circles can often elevate knowledge over love, charisma over character, and the gifts of the Spirit over the fruit of the Spirit.  We may impress people with what we know but we influence them with how we live.  Love trumps them all!  Paul emphasizes the essential place of love in this well-known passage:

1 Corinthians 13:1-3  “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

How well are you loving others?  As we spend time alone with God in prayer, Bible study, and worship, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the nature of your love.  Is it Christ-like?  Are you increasing in love for others?  Is your love sacrificial?  Does it put others’ needs above your own?  In what ways would you say your love is growing?

More often than not, we are the worst ones to evaluate our own lives when it comes to spiritual growth.  Like these people to whom Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians, it’s easier for others to see the spiritual improvement in our faith journey when we miss it completely.

Notice how Paul addresses these followers of Christ, thanking God for them because he saw their faith growing more and more and their love for each other increasing!  How do you think that made them feel to read that?  What an encouraging word that must have fuelled their faith in the midst of the suffering they were enduring through persecution.

In his first letter to them, Paul prayed, “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.”  (1 Thessalonians 3:12).  Now, in this second letter to them, he affirms that God has answered his prayers for them!  Their faith was growing more and more, and their love for others was increasing!

Let’s personalize this now and ask the hard question:  Is my faith growing more and more, and is my love increasing?  These two go together, don’t they?  It’s hard to say your faith is growing if your love is not increasing.  How do you know either is happening?  Perhaps you could connect with a trusted friend this week and ask them to be candid and honest with you.  Look for ways to stretch your faith and exercise your love for those around you.  Don’t be afraid to risk awkwardness.

1 Timothy 1:5  “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”

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