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Friday, 21 September 2018

2 Thessalonians 1 : 1-12

“We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater….” -2 Thessalonians 1:3 [NASB]

Paul gives thanks to God for His work in the hearts and lives of the Thessalonian believers as he was extremely glad to see the progress the believers had made in two areas of their lives – in faith and in love. Paul knew the persecutions and sufferings they were going through and thanked God for His grace, encouraged and strengthened the believers to grow more and more in faith and love. 

Growing in God’s love

1 John 4:19 says, “We love, because He first loved us.” It is God’s love for us that brought us to Christ, sustains us and gives us the strength to move forward each day. When we grow in the love of God, we slowly begin to reflect His love to others around us, bringing them to the true source of love.  God's love was demonstrated to us in Jesus Christ- a perfect example in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  But how can we love others? Romans 5:5[NLT] says, “…For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”  From the moment we receive Jesus Christ in our lives, the Holy Spirit continually fills our hearts with His love. When we allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit, we can love others with God's love. When Christ comes into our lives and we choose to follow Him, He helps us to love as He did. This love is active, constantly looking for doing acts of love, people to uplift and lives to change. Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Growing in Faith

Christian life is based on faith. We receive Christ by faith; we are filled with the Holy Spirit by faith; we walk by faith and so love others by the outworking of our faith. Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God..." Without faith it becomes impossible to please God and would be equally impossible to love God and demonstrate His love towards others. Chapter 2 of James speaks of the outworking of faith through works. Faith without works is dead! When we grow in faith, our works of love spread to others, reaching others with love that counts, the love that will bring them to Jesus Christ. Galatians 5:6 says, “…The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” 

God’s promise is that He will give us all that we need to do His will on the basis of His command and promises.  If we choose to remain rooted in the Word of God and grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ, the trials and problems we face in life will only cause our faith and love to grow. Can we all desire to grow in faith and in love towards God and one another?

Think On: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.

But the greatest of these is love.”

(1 Corinthians 13:13)

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