“And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, 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.” (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 NKJV)
The key to the Christian life is found in the word “love.” We treat other Christians and all other people with respect because of love. We show the behaviors mentioned yesterday because God loved us first and we love others enough to show them the love of God. That’s why Paul emphasized the love that Christians should have toward one another “and to all.” Again, he used himself and his companions as an example of the way they should show love. When we have that love for others our hearts are blameless before God. The ultimate context for this holiness before God is the return of Jesus Christ. As followers of Christ, we always need to be ready for the return of Christ. The more we show love to all people, the more ready we’ll be.
There are some people who are always right in what they do and how they respond to others. If you don’t believe that, ask them and they’ll tell you. But their actions lack love and grace. If I had the choice of always acting right, or always loving, I’d choose to be loving. Come to think of it, I do have that choice – and I mess it up. I judge others harshly instead of treating them with love and grace. I try to make myself look better at the expense of others. Wouldn’t this world be a better place if we showed others the same love that God showed to us? Let’s try that and see what a difference we make in the lives of others.
Lord, this world does need love – Your love. There are many people who will never experience Your love unless I show it to them. Move in my heart so that I’ll show Your love to others, especially those I think least deserve it, because they need it the most.