As we read yesterday, Satan had blocked a way for Paul to get back to Thessalonica, but today in 1 Thessalonians 3, we read that he sent Timothy to go and help them grow in their faith and encourage these believers because of the trials they were facing due to their new faith. Paul was worried that the persecution they were facing may have caused them to no longer believe. But, Paul reports on what Timothy saw when he got there, most importantly, that they were standing firm in the Lord! Our application tells us that this is how we should be living, that when there is persecution or even pressure, that we as believers need to be there for one another as an encouragement. And Paul goes on to tell them how thankful is he for them and how he is praying for their faith to continue to grow. And it ends with out verse today, with Paul praying for the Lord to clear a way for him to go see them, for their love to grow and their hearts to be strengthened.
Today’s verse really caught my attention because of what our application tells us : “If we are full of God’s love, it will overflow to others. It’s not enough merely to be courteous to others, we must actively and persistently show love to them. Our love should be growing continually. If your capacity to love has remained unchanged for some time, ask God to fill you again with his never-ending supply. Then look for opportunities to express his love.” Three things stood out to me on this. 1. If our love isn’t overflowing onto others, we need to check in with ourselves and God. 2. Love is an action! We should be moving towards showing others love, constantly. 3. I believe the Lord gives us opportunities all the time to show His love, but, we need to have our eyes, ears and hearts open to see them.
With that said, let’s reflect on this topic of our love increasing and overflowing… Do you feel your love overflows onto others or are you at maximum capacity and you feel overwhelmed by showing love to others? I love that God can replenish us when we feel like we don’t have room to love more, if you feel maxed out today, ask Him to fill that space. What is a way that you can show love today? Maybe it is being present to those in your home instead of on your phone, maybe it is saying hello to a stranger or sending a note to someone who is having a hard time. Whatever it is God lays upon your heart for someone, put it into action. Write down a time that the Lord gave you an opportunity to love someone. How did you feel after pouring out a little love to them?
Heavenly Father, thank you for this letter from Paul that’s tucked in your word. Thank you that we get to see that despite how pressed we are for our faith, that we can still stand firm, that you are still with us, loving and guiding us. Let your love overflow from us Lord, so that it flows onto others. Let your love be so evident within us that it’s obvious that we follow and love you! If we are struggling with feeling we can’t love, fill us with your never-ending supply of it! Help us to put into action this love you have given us and I pray you open our eyes, ears and hearts to the opportunities that you present to us to LOVE others as you would. We know that you are love Lord and any love we give is from you, help us to look like love, to reflect you. Thank you for the gift of your constant love for us. We are so grateful. In your loving name we pray, AMEN!