Scripture Notes on 1 Thessalonians 3
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 3:12-13)
Love comes from God. This is a basic foundation of the Christian faith, that God is love, therefore the kind of self-sacrificing, others-centered, God-honoring love that truly matters can only come from Him.
So, a prayer for God to help us love others better is really a prayer for Him to simply pour more of His love into us so that it overflows.
Holiness is required by God. Over and over in Scripture, we see that to be called AS a son or daughter of the King is to be called TO the life of the kingdom, a life that is set apart, a life that honors God.
All too often, though, we make two fundamental mistakes in the arenas of holiness and love.
First, we try to pursue holiness through our own efforts and moral goodness, but this will always fail because our human effort can never be good enough for God.
Second, we feel as if God’s love for us depends on our performance in holiness, so we slip into despair as we realize we just can’t measure up on our own.
If you’ve ever felt either of these things, here’s good news: they’re all wrong and upside down!
God’s love for you doesn’t depend on your character. It depends on His. Your holiness doesn’t depend on your effort. It depends on His.
The road to God’s love isn’t about getting rewarded for your good deeds and the pathway to holiness isn’t about living rightly on your own. Both of them are about simply receiving God’s love as a gift through Christ.
Once you receive more of God’s love for you, you will abound in love for others, and the overflow of that love will result in a holy life.
You see, God’s love is the source of your holiness.