“We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other…“
and the love of every one of you all
The Thessalonians’ faith in God grew and their love for each other expanded as well. These are the two levels of growth.
Note the word “every,” and the word “all.” There were no exceptions in the Thessalonian church when it came to abounding love toward one another. They all loved each other.
abounds toward each other
The word “abounds” is more (in quantity). Sometimes this word has the idea of “superabundantly.” When it comes to loving one another, we should have it in superabundance. We should not put bounds around it. We break the bounds when it comes to love. Not only did the Thessalonians’ faith grow but also their love grew in quantity.
When we increase the extent of our love to the point of abundance, it will create a momentum of love among the community of believers.
Biblical love for one another can grow so that we will love everyone in our local church.
Could you classify yourself as a model of someone who loves people in your church superabundantly? How would you stand up to that standard? All of us can love the lovely. Few of us love the unlovely. It is easy to love the people we like but not very easy to love the people we dislike.
“For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” (Matthew 5:46).
It isn’t easy to love those who do not treat us fairly. That should not concern us. That is their responsibility. Our responsibility is to love them. We cannot force people to love us. God does not obligate us to make others love us, but He does require us to love them.
It is one thing to develop our faith, and it’s another thing to develop our love for others. Some people have strong faith but weak love. Others have strong love but weak faith. God expects us to reach a point of strong faith and strong love.