Mercy Street Church of Christ
Abilene, TX
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With such affection...

With such affection . . .(1 Thessalonians 2:8)

In the reading from 1 Thessalonians 2, Paul recalls how dedicated he and his companions were in nurturing the believers in Thessalonica. He and Silvanus and Timothy made it their goal to share the gospel with them. They talked about Jesus’ resurrection and the new life he had won for them. They talked about the power of the Holy Spirit to change their lives. They talked about the lure of sin and about our need to stay alert and on guard.

As he focused on points of doctrine like these, Paul was careful to speak about them in terms of love: God’s love for the Thessalonians and the Thessalonians’ call to love each other in return. For Paul, this was the most important thing. Love was the glue that held everything together. “We were gentle among you,” he tells them, adding that he and his companions treated them “as a nursing mother cares for her children” (1 Thessalonians 2:7). What a tender image!

In what many people have called the greatest chapter in Scripture, Paul told the Corinthian believers about the centrality of love (1 Corinthians 13). Having powerful spiritual gifts or great faith or deep knowledge are as nothing without love, he wrote.

So whatever you do today, make sure it is built on a foundation of love. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you God’s love for you more deeply and more personally so that you can love him in return. Ask him to help you share your love with just one person today. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture; it just has to be sincere. God can take it from there.

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