BCL Grow: Abound in Love — 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13
1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 (Church)
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Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. — 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13
"‘Nurture in Christ is not a self-improvement programme to build self-esteem. The esteem we cherish is not self-esteem, but our Father’s esteem, extended to us not because we deserved it or earned it, but because in love he claimed us. ” — Edmund P. Clowney, The Church, p. 148.
Steps to Take
1. Reflect: What does it mean to you that God extends his love to you, and not because you deserved it or earned it? How do we rightly respond to God’s love?
2. Remember: When asked by a lawyer what is the great commandment of the law, Jesus answered from Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18—to love God and others. Out of love, he did not withhold even his own Son, Jesus Christ, but gave him up for us. He then calls us to give up ourselves for God and others. We are to love with the love God has given to us—a sacrificial love.
3. Respond: Abound in love for God and one another by obeying the commandments of our loving Father. He will establish your hearts with a sacrificial love, for he works in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. We love because he first loved us and gave his Son for us.