“And the Lord make you to increase and ABOUND in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:” 1 Thess. 3:12 (caps added) / / / “And because iniquity shall ABOUND, the love of many shall wax cold.” Matthew 24:12 (caps added) / / / “But where sin ABOUNDED, grace did much more ABOUND:” Romans 5:20 (caps added)
Oh, what times in which we live! The world is falling apart, and just when it seems the most evil act imaginable has been committed, along comes another one far worse. How can there be any love in the midst of it all? But there can be! And there should be! For we ALL are commanded to love! In fact, Paul in 1 Thessalonians 3:12 writes that we should INCREASE in love and ABOUND in it. Dictionary.com includes in its definition of abound, “to occur or exist in great quantities or numbers,” and “to be rich or well supplied…” But look at the world! How can we be rich in love and well supplied in it in the midst of such evil?
In Matthew 24, when Jesus prophesies about “the beginning of sorrows” that precedes the beginning of the world’s end – a time marked by wars, earthquakes, diseases, and false prophets – is He not speaking of the very times in which we live? Just like Paul, He uses the word ABOUND. But what does He say? He says evil will ABOUND! How can we ABOUND in love when evil ABOUNDS? Can we not look at the evil and simply shirk our responsibility to love? No! We must not! How then can we love?
By the Spirit of God who lives inside believers in Christ who have received the gift of God’s Holy Spirit and who are being ever re-filled and re-filled with His Spirit as we seek to live pure lives according to the ways of the Lord! Yes, by God’s very Spirit who fills us with the love of Christ as we die to our selfish ways and repent of and purge from ourselves our wickedness so we are more and more emptied of self to be filled and ABOUND with His love, with the magnificence of His majesty who longs to live and love through these vessels which we are. That’s how!
When we repent and place our faith in Christ, our sin that ABOUNDS is super-ABOUNDED by God’s grace through Christ’s blood shed on the cross for us. By His grace, HIS love that super-abounds in those of us who are committed utterly to Him is the very love that will ABOUND – bursting forth in brilliant light despite a world ever darkening at the wicked hands and hearts of those who refuse to repent and turn to God. He is the one whose perfect love is the very love that by His Spirit pours through those committed to Him into this world that is starving for Christ’s life-giving blood and love!
Fall on your face before the Lord.