Today you should read: 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13
I love 1 Thessalonians. In it we see an up close and personal view of Paul’s heart for this church and his disciples. And in verses 11-13 we see what he desires for them.
1) TO SEE THEM IN PERSON (V.11)
I love this. In this we see Paul’s heart for people. He wanted to be with them. He wanted to be able to encourage them and minister to them in person. He did not want to do the bare minimum – write letters. He wanted to point them to Jesus in person. He pursued them. How can you pursue someone like this today to encourage them in their faith in Jesus?
2) THEIR LOVE TO INCREASE + ABOUND (V.12)
Paul wanted love to genuinely overflow out of their hearts. We, as followers of Jesus, have gotten really good at allowing the “fake love” to flow out of our hearts. Paul wants genuine love. He wants it to abound. He is reminding us that as followers of Jesus there should be something supernatural about our love. Our love should look, feel, and hit differently. It is more than just being kind, more than just giving a little… it is all consuming.
Jesus talked about this in John 13:35,
“35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Paul wants them to love because it is (1) commanded and (2) because people see Jesus when we increase with and abound in genuine God-given love. What do you think it means to have supernatural love?
3) ESTABLISHED HEARTS (V.13)
He wanted their hearts established, rooted, and grounded in the truth of the gospel of Jesus. I love how it says “he may establish”… It is God who does the established but we have to participate with Him in this. We do this by actively trying to grow, read scripture, pray, fight sin, try to live in truth, but most importantly by asking him to establish our hearts. Take a second and pray… ask God to establish your heart in the truth of Jesus.
By: Nick Parsons — Pastoral Ministry Associate – College
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