He’s talked about sex, and he is about to talk about the end times, but sandwiched between those areas, Paul gives instruction not to be missed.
Paul urges the believers to live a life that is characterized by an increasing love for others, a steady, quiet calm, and hard work. (I Thess 4:9-12).
There is so much to unpack in these few sentences.
We are to love others with an increasing love.
And that one, hit me hard. (Like right between the eyes, hard!)
The older I’ve become, the more I look at the crazy world, the more I see others knocked down by sin, the more I find myself wanting to pull away and only love a few that I consider “safe”.
I’ve joked with a few close friends and family that I’d like to start a commune. (Except, I was not totally joking, because I kind of really would like to pull away… with a few I trust and like.)
The truth is, I don’t really want to keep putting my heart out there to be trampled by those who may hurt and disappointment me, and not love me back.
I feel the urge to make my circle smaller, not larger. Anyone else?
But, this attitude is simply not godly.
God so loved the world that He gave!(John 3:16) He didn’t hold back! As I truly think on that, I’m raising my hands THANKFUL that God didn’t hold back!
And He loved us first… He didn’t require us to love Him, before He loved us! (1John 4:19) He loved our unlovely selves long before we ever gave Him a thought! (Rom 5:8) While we were still His enemies in fact! (Rom 5:10)
And He still suffers LONG with us! (2Pet 3:9) He forgave and still forgives us over and over! (Lam 3:22-23)
When I look to Jesus, I’ve got absolutely no excuse, but to love others because He loves me.
All of them.
We can’t pick and choose.
Whomever, God places in our path, is someone to love and show the love of Christ.
It doesn’t matter how messed up we think they are, because the truth is, Jesus loved our messed up selves; and we are to love others because He loved us.(Matt 37-39)
So, no commune for me! 😉