GROWING IN FAITH AND LOVE
2Thessalonians 1:3(KJV): We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing.
Here, we see that the faith and love of the Thessalonian saints were increasing.
So faith grows and love grows.
Why and how does this happen?
Faith is trust in God that causes us to accept His Word, the Bible, as true, even when there is no initial physical evidence to support it:
Hebrews 11:1-3(KJV): Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (2) For by it the people of old received their commendation. (3) By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
We find that when we speak God’s Word in faith (Mark 11.23), release His power in prayer by the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1.2-3, Ephesians 6.18), and act upon it ( James 2.21-26), then the physical reality of His Word comes into manifestation.
As we experience this in one situation after another our faith in God, through His written Word, increases.
We develop more and more confidence in God as person, through what He has said in His written Word and ultimately we will have the same measure of faith God has. We will consequently be able to call the things which are not as though they are and being confident that by the release of God’s creative power by His Spirit through prayer and wisdom through His Word, those things will become realities:
Romans 4:17(KJV): as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”–in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.
Love is good will, shown in acts of kindness and in some cases discipline, to men especially when they do not deserve it.
Romans 13:10(KJV): Love works no ill to its neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the Law.
As we exercise this good will in more and more situations it gets stronger and stronger causing us to act with this good will in all situations no matter how grievous:
Matthew 5:43-48(KJV): “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ (44) But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (45) so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (46) For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? (47) And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? (48) You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
This is how our love grows and ultimately we will become like God, who is love, in our good will and deeds towards all men.
1John 4:7-12(KJV): Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves has been born of God, and knows God. (8) The one who does not love has not known God. For God is love. (9) In this the love of God was revealed in us, because God sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him. (10) In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation concerning our sins. (11) Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. (12) No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and His love is perfected in us.
1John 4:16-18(KJV): And we have known and believed the love that God has in us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. (17) In this is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, that as He is, so also we are in this world. (18) There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He who fears has not been perfected in love.
It is God’s will that our faith and love continue to increase until we become a physical manifestation of God in the earth like Jesus was:
John 14:9-12(KJV): Jesus said to him, Have I been with you such a long time and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father. And how do you say, Show us the Father? (10) Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? The Words that I speak to you I do not speak of Myself, but the Father who dwells in Me, He does the works. (11) Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the very works themselves. (12) Truly, truly, I say to you, He who believes on Me, the works that I do he shall do also, and greater works than these he shall do, because I go to My Father.
John 17:20-23 (ESV): “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, (21) that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (22) The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, (23) I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.