I Love You So Much

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 2:8, ‘We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.’

 

Observations: Often when we think of Paul we think of him as a gospel sharing machine, as someone whose only passion in life is proclaiming and explaining the gospel of Jesus Christ. But the surprising thing about Paul is he didn’t just love the gospel, he also loved the people he was sharing it with. And he didn’t just have a strong love for the lost, but he had a deep affection for his fellow brothers and sisters. We see that affection here in this verse as Paul not only ‘delights in sharing the gospel of God with them,’ but ‘our lives as well.’ In the Greek it’s the word usually translated ‘soul.’ Paul opened up his heart to these people, he shared not only the gospel, but his time and energy and even his soul. When Paul calls them brothers and sisters, he’s not just describing their new status as children of God, he’s also describing how he feels about them, about how ‘dear’ they are to him. In the Greek it’s literally ‘beloved,’ someone you love so much you are willing to sacrifice your life for them.

 

Application: Is that how you feel about your brothers and sisters in Christ? Do you sit in church and just focus your attention on God – on worship and Scripture, or do you also take the time to look around at the people that God has brought into your spiritual family? How much do you share with your brothers and sisters in Christ? Do you just share in Bible study, and keep everything theological or devotional? Do you share your time with them? Do you share your energy with them? Do you share your soul with them? How much do you actually love your fellow brothers and sisters?

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, You love the people in my church so much that You sent Jesus to die for them. Lord, help me to love them like that as well. Help me to grow in affection for them so that I may have the same affection for them that Christ does. Lord, forgive me when all I can see are their faults, as if I don’t have faults of my own. Help me to see them as You do. And Lord help me to give of my very soul. May I not hold anything back that may bless them and let them know how much I love them. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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