As a Christian, holiness sits as one of the most important attributes we can have. Not to be confused with self-righteousness, holiness is that quality of life that sets us apart and brings us into the presence of God. But it does not come because of austerity or sternness. It can’t appear because of moral perfection and is not an indicator of superiority. The Bible teaches that the foundation for holiness is the growth of love within.
In essence, holiness exemplifies God’s nature. And His nature is love. Therefore, the more our love grows, the more we exemplify God. And the more we exemplify God, the more holiness will be seen in our lives.
So we would do well to focus on love’s growth as one of our most basic goals in life.
Paul made this clear in 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 when he wrote,
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.
This simple prayer reveals power. It shows the way we can live in fellowship with God and allow Him the opportunity to fundamentally change us from the inside out and prepare us for eternity! He is able to make us blameless. What a concept! The growth of love is paramount for this.
Notice the two important words describing the growth of love. Imagine what your life would look like if you focus on these.
Increasing In Your Love For Others
There are no limits to how much we can love. That’s because God is love and He is eternal. There are limitations that define love though. Think about this from a biblical perspective:
- Saying you love someone is not the same as loving someone.
- Sinning against someone is not love, even if it feels like love.
- Love has many definitions, but God’s nature defines the love discussed here.
- Love is seeking what is best for others regardless of self.
Focus on how you can increase in love toward others, and you will have spiritual growth!
Abounding in Your Love For Others
The word “abound” means to fill something so that it overflows. According to Paul’s words, the source of love is God Himself, so He is the One who can make it abound in you. That’s not some mystical idea or some excuse against personal responsibility. No, we must cooperate with God and allow Him to cause love to grow and abound in us. He will not force us to love others.
It’s no mystery. We learn to love by recognizing and valuing God’s love for us. 1 John 4:9-11 reveals it.
In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
It’s not enough that God sent His Son. If you never see and appreciate what was done, you will never understand love. But when you understand it, you are able to let it grow and abound.
How’s Your Love Growing?
Would you describe yourself as abounding in love? Let love increase until that point.
I suppose if we reach the capacity for love we can back off and stop loving as much. I don’t see that happening. Do you?
Focus on loving each other with this growth quality so that we can learn to live life to the fullest!