March 11 - 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13

Monday, March 11, 2013

March 11 - 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13

Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

A line I remember from the movie National Treasure, is “People just don’t talk that way anymore,” in reference to Nicolas Cage’s speech patterns.

Unless you are speaking formally from a pulpit on Sunday mornings, you probably would never speak or even write these words, but consider their beauty.

Paul could have said, “I hope we can come see you and I hope that you learn to love each other like we love you and that you will live good lives so that when you die you go to heaven.”  There, that’s the gist of the sentence.

But the gist of the sentence loses much of the meaning and extraordinary care which fills Paul’s words.

It was God who would direct their way back to the Thessalonians.  Not only did Paul call Him God, but Father, a personal, loving term.  It was God in tandem with the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ whom Paul prayed to for that possibility.  Paul couldn't do it on his own, but with their direction, it might happen.

Paul also knew that the people of Thessalonica were facing so much persecution they couldn't grow in love without the guidance of the Lord.  God is love.  He is the source of love. He gives love in abundance, He loves without reservation. Any attempt that we make at loving without His involvement is lacking. We can certainly love without Him, but it will never be as full and complete as it would be with his guidance.  Through the Lord, their love would increase and abound for each other.  Paul knows this because his love for them has been made possible through his relationship with God.

It is the work of the Lord which takes our sins away and allows us to stand before God at the end. We can’t do it on our own.

These words of Paul’s exude his love for the people of Thessalonica and show his great love and respect for the Lord. What power they had for those people and still have for us today.