And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you
1 Thessalonians 3:12 is a Bible Verse and prayer by Paul for increase and harmony for the relationships in the church.
I once saw a Christmas play called, “Dysfunctional Family,” which was about the family dynamic during Christmas season. In the play, there was one family member who wouldn’t work and was always borrowing money from other family members, and then another who always saw the worst in situations and had a bit of a drinking problem.Then the rest of the family had their own issues to deal with, and at the same time tried to help by attempting to manage the outcome of things. While they wanted the best for those with the biggest “issues,” their attempts at trying to improve or control the outcome usually backfired.
Isn’t that a reflection of our own families to some degree? We may not be labeled as “dysfunctional,” but that’s what all of us are. It’s been that way since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden.
When sin entered the picture, serenity and harmony departed. The perfect family model deteriorated when Adam and Eve chose to follow the serpent’s tempting and deceitful proposal instead of enjoying what they already had in the Garden of Eden with God.
Instead of being content with the perfect and holy matrimony they shared with God and with one another in paradise, they chose to believe the lie that there was something better and bigger than what they had.
They turned their back on God and what He had established for them, which was perfect harmony. There was no dysfunction before sin.
We also see and experience dysfunction in the family of God in the church body. Every one of us has some kind of painful experience from our past that has caused “issues” in how we see and deal with other people, whether we’re aware of it or not.
We see people through the lenses of our own shortcomings, and chances are it is not completely accurate. Imagine instead, if we saw our brothers and sisters in Christ the way God sees them.
He sees each one of us through the filter of Jesus’ blood, which means He is pleased with us and sees us as clean and beautiful, just as He sees Jesus. That’s the power of the blood of Christ.
God sees us through the filter of mercy, which is the power of the cross, but we see others through the cloudiness and confusion of deception, which the devil planted in our minds.
The clarity of the truth is there, but we have a difficult time looking at others through the filter of mercy, like God does. If we could see like God sees, the cloudiness and confusion would disappear.Jesus Christ made it possible, for He is that filter. He is the way and He is love. In Christ, all things are possible. We can love like Christ loves, for He lives within us.
In 1 Thessalonians 3:12, Paul is praying that the Lord would make them increase, and make them abound in love to one another and to all.
In Jesus Christ, there is no dysfunction.
In Jesus Christ, there are no judgments or suspicions.
In Jesus Christ, there is no condemnation.
Because of Him, we can increase and abound in love toward one another.
Because Jesus Christ bridged the gap between us and the Heavenly Father, perfect harmony can be re-established--the family of God in the church and in our own personal families.
We can have “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven,” just as Jesus taught us to pray.
Let’s join Paul and pray that the Lord would make us increase and abound in love to one another and to all.
Study the Bible verse of 1 Thessalonians 3:12, and enjoy the increase of perfect harmony in the love of Christ.
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