1 Thessalonians 3:12–13 (NKJV) — 12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, 13 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.
The church of Thessalonica was a church of love. Paul prayed for that love to grow, to increase even to overflowing. The love of Christ living in the life of a Christian is not natural to the world. The love of Christ was to overflow not just to the church but to everyone, even those outside of the fellowship.
The love of a Christian is not worldly but it is shared to and in the world. The source of our love is the Lord Jesus Christ. This love is a self-giving love. It is not a love that comes naturally. It is the gift and the work of God. It is easy to love the lovable, to love those who love us. God calls us to love those who hate us!
The love of Christ is not to be held and thrive just within the walls of the church. The love of God is to overflow into the world. It is to grow to one another in the fellowship of the church. When we love we allow God to establish our hearts “blameless in holiness”. Holiness is an act by which God sets us apart for Himself. The world needs to see and witness the love of God acted out in the life of the church.
We live in a world of hate. The world is covered in a pall of hateful darkness. Jesus told his listeners in Matthew 5:14–16, 14, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Love is that light! We are to love.