Tuesday, December 13, 2016

“To Increase and Abound”

"To Increase and Abound"   

     Our memory verse this week calls to grow in the love of Christ, regardless of where we may be in our walk with the Lord.

    "And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men" (I Thessalonians 3:12).

   No laurels exist upon which born again believers can rest in this lifetime.  Regardless of how well we know the unselfish nature of the God who "is love", we do not know it well enough.  We have not fully responded to such love, nor have we fully expressed this beautiful nature of altruism toward our Lord or others.  The Spirit of God ever beckons us to come higher, dive deeper, and journey further into the glory of God's loving character declared by the Apostle Paul to seek not its own benefit, but that of others (I Corinthians 13:5).  The voyage into such glory will last forever, with no horizon, no ocean floor, and no final destination of the Love that "passeth knowledge" (Ephesians 3:19).  Thus, wherever we are in this moment, or where we will be in eternity, the call to "higher… deeper… further" sounds and resounds from the heart of God to our hearts.  

   Our response to such Truth calls us to the determination to love God and people more and better than ever we have.  This begins in our ongoing quest to understand the nature of Divine love as defined by Scripture.  We then seek to experience such goodness in our personal walk with the Lord, which prepares us to respond in devoted love to Him and to others.  We love the Lord because He first loved us.  We grow in such devotion to Him as we grow in our awareness of His devotion to us.  We then love people as the fruit of our fellowship with God.  This constitutes the spiritual process whereby the Lord causes us to "increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men".  "Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (II Corinthians 3:18).

   Our role in the process involves the faith that acknowledges God's working in us and our need for it, accompanied by the submission of our hearts to the growing experience and expression of His love.  This is true of the most devout and the most wayward Christian.  Wherever we are, the call to higher… deeper… further beckons.  Our Heavenly Father works in us to love more and to love better through the power of the indwelling Spirit of Christ.  He will not rest in His determination throughout our earthly lifetime.  And neither should in our response to such grace and truth...

"And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment."
(Philippians 1:9)
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
(Philippians 3:13-14)

Weekly Memory Verse
   And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men.
(I Thessalonians 3:12)

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