Love and the Return of Jesus
1 Thessalonians contains a lot of discussion of the rapture and return of Jesus Christ. Chapters 4 and 5 contain a lot of information about His return. But I just noticed something this morning that Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 3 that has to do with the return of Jesus. (Again, one of the wonderful things about the Bible is no matter how often you read it, you can always see new things and new applications). Anyway, here is what I want to focus on today: 11 Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you. 12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, 13 so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. There are lots of reasons for us to increase in love. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus said that people would know we are His disciples by our love for one another….lots of purposes and reasons for love. But here Paul is saying that God is going to increase our love for one another so we can be ready for the return of Jesus.
God is at work in our lives, increasing our love to make us ready for the return of Jesus. I’m not totally sure I understand what he means here, but I do know that I want to be ready for the return of Jesus. One way I can do that is by allowing God to increase my love, making my heart “blameless in holiness”. I wonder if part of my struggle and perhaps yours, with holiness is a lack of love? I don’t think much about the relationship between my love for others and my own blamelessness. I think I should think more about this…maybe you should too? I’m thankful that God is at work in my life, often in ways that I don’t even know about or understand. What a great God we serve!