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10 Steps to Building Biblical Relationships
Biblical Building Block #7
“Love One Another” (I Thessalonians 3:12)
I Thessalonians 3:12, And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
Paul wanted God to multiply the love of the Thessalonians. Paul's prayer was that God would make them increase in love. This request of the Lord was to make the Thessalonians abound in love to one another and to all people. Imagine that the church would be so committed to Jesus that He would have free reign in the church to do as He pleases. That is a good request for anyone to make for the church. Because God is love, God's church should be a place of love. When a church has love for the Lord, then they will love one another and will love the lost. The church today must heed the call to love or will lose our opportunity to witness.
The great need for which Paul prayed is the supreme need of every believer—the need for love, to grow in love more and more. Paul, as well as other writers of Scripture, spoke often of love. The Apostle John said, Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love (I John 4:7-8).
Family behavior in the body of Christ starts with 'Love one another'. Our Lord told the disciples, By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:35). Our love for one another is an outward demonstration of our salvation. The world ought to be able to look at our love for one another and see a demonstration of God's love for them.
While we will probably never have to lay down our lives for a friend, but on a regular basis, we are called upon to lay down our busy schedules and take time to encourage someone. Satan’s best and most effective hindrance is to get us too busy to be encouragers. There is no replacement for an intense loving spirit in the church. As a pastor, it is my privilege to love the members. Of course, it’s easy to love those who are always encouraging you and appreciative of your ministry to them. But the church is wider than those who regularly express appreciation and affirmation. Our privilege—and responsibility—is to “increase and abound in love…toward all men.” Paul was able to encourage the church of Thessalonica to abound in love “even as we do toward you.” His expressed love for others set the tone for Thessalonica to be a loving church.
Points to Ponder:
Questions to Consider:
· Who are at least three people you need to show unconditional love to?
· Have you been neglecting to love them?
· List specific acts of love you can show toward them?
· Are you growing in your capacity to love others (loving more people, more kinds of people, and over longer periods of time)?
Prayer, Lord God, I am not what I could be or should be. But I am not what I was, and thank You for that. I have a growing capacity to love. Because You have set Your love on me, I am growing in my love for You and for others. I am in process, and I’m moving forward. Please keep growing in me the capacity to love well those You’ve given me. In the name of Jesus, amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.