An Increase and Overflow of Love
“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
During Christmas break, I saw the movie Klaus with my children. One thing that caught my attention was what Klaus tells the postman who had been sent to Smearingsberg, the land of unhappiness: “We need to show people that a true selfless act always sparks another.”
The flame of love cannot survive without being constantly fanned with acts of love. True love, demonstrated with the good works God has prepared in advance for us to do, must be the engine that moves us forward in our Christian journey. When we neglect this vital element, the rhythm of our walk is adversely affected, hindering our progress.
Hindering obstacles to loving action may be laziness, selfishness, indifference, insecurity, lack of compassion, quarrels, dissensions, anger, infidelity, lack of forgiveness, selfishness, gossip, contention, jealousy, envy, and the list goes on.
Paul recognizes something supremely important for the church in Thessalonica and for us—God Himself is the One who makes us grow and overflow in love for one another and all people. And Paul expresses the importance of reciprocal love. Paul, Timothy, and Silvanus demonstrated love as leaders towards the church in Thessalonica. This abounding in love should be both growing and flowing.
God is the One who makes things grow (1 Corinthians 3:6). God is a God of abundance and apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5). Therefore, we must maintain our dependence on the One who generates and nurtures all good things to fulfill His perfect will. With the love that God supplies, we must continue to fan love without hypocrisy. The hallmark of the true disciple is love, John:13:15 says: “In this way everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Our world, increasingly broken and in labor pains due to sin, awaits redemption with groans. We live in a crucial and expectant time in which the Church must be strengthened, not only in her faith, but also in the only thing God has promised will counteract the advance of sin: LOVE. 1 Peter 4:8 says, “And above all, have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.”
If we, as His disciples, continually pursue the growth and abounding of God’s love for one another, we will be a contributing factor that prevents the love of many from growing cold. Sinners will turn to the Lord, affected by this sincere love that God has poured out into their hearts through His Church.
Let us continue to increase and abound in love!