1Th 3:12-13  “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.”

Everyone seems to want more; a bigger house, a nicer car, a flat screen TV the size of the living room wall, more money. The apostle Paul is all about more in these verses, and he has an undiminished source. He speaks to the church about wanting them to have more, but not more contributions, not more members, and not more service times (although these things in and of themselves are not bad things).

When the church desires more, there is a source they are to look to. Their attention and devotion are to focused on the Lord. This focus is so powerful in the realm of “more” that the same Greek word is used twice in verse twelve. The word rendered “make” and the phrase “to increase” both come from the Greek word “pleonazo.” Pleonazo is defined as “to do, make or be more, that is, increase (transitively or intransitively); by extension to superabound: – abound, abundant, make to increase, have over.” The Lord clearly is not miserly when He makes us to increase.

It is very important to note what this great overflowing abundance is to be about. The Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another. God’s people should have a love for one another that can forgive, cherish, and nourish one another. We should increase in love toward one another to the extent that we don’t have wait to be asked before we forgive (like Jesus loves us). Our love should be so great that we rejoice in the blessings we see the Lord bestowing on others. We should love so much that every burden we see being carried by our brothers and sisters should become as it were our burden (Gal 6:2).

The increase is not over at this point. The Lord make you to increase in love toward all men. While I realize there can be a lot of debate about who “all men” are, in this instance I am content to take this at face value. I am to have an abundant love toward all men. All men (mankind) are not going to care if I love them or not. Some people would prefer that a lover of Christ not love them at all. However, the abundance of love here is not about what I want or about what other people want or don’t want. Paul deemed it good for the church to have an abundance of love for everyone.

Paul reasoning is simple. If the Lord make us to increase and abound in love toward each other an all men, then our hearts are established. We are rooted steadfastly in the love of Jesus and there is no law that can condemn us. It is not for me to decide who is and isn’t worthy of love. It is my place to love, and in doing so my heart is established by the Lord holy and without blame before God. I am above reproach in Him and Him alone.

Our eternal salvation is secured in the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His love for us, without any involvement of my love (or lack thereof). Therefore, I am persuaded that the coming of the Lord Jesus mentioned here is not about Him taking us to our eternal abode. Rather, this is in reference to His appearing to us in the church through the power of the Holy Ghost. When He appears in this manner, we are blameless before Him as are all His saints because we are sanctified in Him.

May our desire for increase be that we may increase in the love of Jesus, thereby decreasing in our trust of the flesh and being established in our trust in God!

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