Established in Love
Established in the Love of God
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
Love is the foundation from which we are able to comprehend the vastness of God. Without this foundation, we are left with words, concepts, and a small view of all that God is. As we open ourselves up to the word of God, He will highlight things to us, and we see something we can build our life upon. Here Paul is writing to the Thessalonians. (Recognize that whereas James, John, Jude, and Peter are writing to the whole church, Paul’s is a more specific apostolic ministry). He writes to the church in different locations and even personal letters to address and strengthen and encourage them in those areas where they have a particular need. He is laying foundations whereas the others are calling God’s people to build on those foundations. Allow these words in the Epistle to the Thessalonians to enter your heart:
“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.”
1 Thessalonians 3:11-13
Love is the most stabilizing grace in God. As we grow in the love of God we grow in His stability because love is the character and foundation of His relationship with you and me. All His working and doing in us is because He loves us. Whom the Lord loves He chastens. Whom the Lord loves He blesses. Whom the Lord loves He fashions and strengthens and encourages that we might strengthen and establish others. The Greek word used here, “that He may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness” is the same one that Jesus used when He spoke to Peter, “When you are converted, strengthen your brothers.” As you grow in your establishment and as we allow Him to convert us from our selfish ways, God allows you to strengthen others through the same love that has established you. Even in the biggest mistakes you make, you keep discovering this unfathomable love of God and you wonder… why does He stay with me? Because He is your foundation.
As you grow in God, He develops patience in you for others, because the love wherewith He has loved you is now being formed in you to love others to the end that they may be established. He is telling Peter, when you are converted, strengthen others; the depth of your conversion is revealed in the divine enablement for you to strengthen others. Knowing Him who is love enables us to love others with the same love wherewith He has loved us.
In Thessalonians, Paul addresses the day of God’s return. The man of sin is going to arise, there will be shakings and desolation, false prophets, etc. As you read this book there is a “flavor” all the way through of the Love of God. There were false epistles being written to them saying that the resurrection had already happened, and they had missed it. Paul is calming them down in the Spirit, asking them to remember the former things that had been ministered to them. “Don’t you remember when we were with you, and we told you the things that were going to characterize the day of the Lord?” (1 Thessalonians 3:4) He is settling them. God wants to produce in us that ability to settle, to strengthen, to confirm, to correct, and to reprove each other; that we may be established in the power and the wisdom and the glory of God.