Robert Griffith | 21 April 2024
Robert Griffith
21 April 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.”

Are you experiencing an increase in the amount of love you feel when you develop in your faith?  Those who are part of Christian communities frequently have a tendency to prioritise knowledge over love, charisma over character, and the gifts of the Spirit over the fruit of the Spirit.  We may be able to dazzle people with our knowledge, but the way we live our lives is what truly influences them.

Nothing can compare to love!  In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul emphasises the significance of love:

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, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

How much love do you have for other people?  As we spend time alone with God in prayer, Bible study, and worship, we should seek the Holy Spirit to reveal the nature of our love.  Does it compare to Christ’s love?  Are we learning to love other people more and more?  Is our love selfless?  Do we prioritise the requirements of others before our own?  How would you describe the development of your love for others?

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 Christ-followers 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,

1 Thessalonians 3:12  “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.”

Now in this second letter to them, he is affirming 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 time together 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?

Connect this week with a trusted friend 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.”