“And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you…“
And may the Lord make you increase and abound
The phrase “make you increase” means to make to abound, to superabound. The word carries the idea of multiplying. Paul prays that Thessalonian love will come in abundance by multiplying. The Lord is the source of multiplying love. A love that increases is stronger this year than last year.
The second word, “abound,” means to be superabundant. Christians are to love each other extraordinarily. Christians love in a different way than non-Christians love each other. God expects Christians to excel in love. Mature Christians love more than in an expected way. Their love is surpassing. Love that is full to the brim is one thing. Love that overflows the container is another. People will receive the overflow of our love originating from God.
“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment…” (Philippians 1:9).
The combination of these words for superabundance reinforces the intensity of Christian love.
in love to one another
Not all Christians love one another. Anyone can love the loveable. It is more difficult to love cantankerous and challenging people. There is little credit for loving the lovely. When we love the unlovely, that is a different issue.
“But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia” (1 Thessalonians 4:9-10).
and to all,
Christians should not restrict their love simply to one another. It should reach out to those who do not know Christ.
just as we do to you
Paul and his team claim to be models of love. Just as they loved the Thessalonians, the Thessalonians are to love one another.
The more we are beloved, the more we should love.
God requires mutual love between Christians and a love that extends beyond the Christian community. The Lord gives us the capacity to love one another. We cannot take a seminar on Christian love. This love comes from God. The Lord has to do it in us.
True love tells the truth, not half truths. We do not say things about each other that are half-true, or, as the case may be, half false. We do not spread gossip about one another. It grieves the heart of God to watch believers fighting with each other.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).
“These things I command you, that you love one another” (John 15:17).
“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8).
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal…. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:12-13).
“And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).
Some of us cannot even love our relatives, much less our enemies.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, “that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:43-45).