1 Thessalonians 3:12
"May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you."
Today's Prayer Focus
- For our own hearts to grasp the love of God, shown to us in the gospel of Christ.
- For overflowing love in our church; enough to cover a multitude of sins, enough to care for the broken, enough to mark us as true disciples of the one who loved us perfectly.
- For love that would flow out to “everyone else”—new friends, the lost, the city, the poor, our enemies, and our neighbors.
The Nile River flows north from Lake Victoria in Uganda. For centuries, the river has brought life-giving water and fertile deposits to Egypt, spawning civilizations. The Greek historian Herodotus wrote that “Egypt was the gift of the Nile.” Like the mighty Nile, the overwhelming love of God is a source of life for us, and it overflows through us to others.
It’s interesting that Paul prays for overflowing love before he exhorts the Thessalonians to love one another in the very next chapter (1 Thessalonians 4:9). He must know that we need grace from the Lord Jesus, even to love one another. Even Lake Victoria, the source of the Nile, has feeder rivers flowing into it. We, too, need continuous replenishment so that love can increase and overflow.
Just as the waters of the Nile spawn growth in the arid plains of Egypt, a community of Christians filled with the love of Christ will be a life-giving community. A loving community will bear the gospel fruits: growth in holiness, tenderness for the hurting, compassion for the lost, concern for the peace of the city, and ultimately the glory of our Father in heaven.
Mike Tilley is the senior pastor of Lake Baldwin Church, and has lived in Orlando since 1994. He and his wife, Molly, worked with a core group from the Baldwin Park community to plant Lake Baldwin Church in 2006. Mike loves teaching the Bible in a way that relates to real life. In his spare time, Mike enjoys good movies, long dinner with friends, snow skiing, hanging out with his kids and two granddaughters, and travel.