by Kathryn Baxter
2 Thessaloniciens 1:3 : “It is right for us to give praise to God at all times for you, brothers, because of the great increase of your faith, and the wealth of your love for one another.”
Paul observed the growth of Christians in two areas : 1) faith et 2) love. These are two outward expressions of inward enlargement. Today the Lord is inspiring us to enlarge in these two areas as well.
1) “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Heb. 11:1, KJV) In our intellectual society the world defines faith as “belief.” However, the Bible defines faith as the substance (internal) and the evidence (external). Our faith is visible; it is expressed outwardly, not only in word but in deed. It does not remain comfortably stuck in our thoughts. The more we act on our faith, the more it is enlarged. It is time to take our faith to the next level. For example : if you speak in tongues, start singing in tongues. If you are faithful in the tithe, start aiming to give 12% or 15% of your income to God. If you pray for the sick in church, start praying for them outside. Every time you take a step of faith, you exceed your limits. Romans 10:17 says that “faith comes by hearing…” Jesus wants to speak to you! He wants to tell you things you haven’t heard before so that your faith is enlarged. This verse doesn’t say that faith “comes by having heard…” yesterday, or in the past. In fact, you need to hear His voice moment by moment, and respond.
2) “But now we still have faith, hope, and love, these three; and the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor.13:13). The most powerful force for changing the world is the love of God. I think Jesus was thinking about the days we are living in when He prophesied in Matthew 24:13 “Because wrongdoing will be increased, the love of most people will become cold.” We should be the opposite: those whose love is enlarged!
It is so important that you decide to not allow disappointments, hurts and offenses to determine your identity and your destiny. Perhaps you have stepped out in faith before only to see your hopes frustrated. Perhaps you reached out to love someone in need only to be rejected. You can let these things break you; or you can allow God to lift you up, heal you, and refresh you for a new day.
I want to encourage you today, to let the Holy Spirit enlarge you in your faith and your love. Here are some verses from the Bible that you can meditate on throughout the day. As you put these in your heart God will speak to you the steps you are to take.
Romans 12:9; 1 Corinthians 8:1; 1 Corinthians 13:1, 4 -8; Galatians 5:13; Ephesians 4:1-2 and 14-15.