“And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 3.5
This is an interesting phrase: “ … direct your hearts into the love of God … ” Paul says to the Thessalonian Christians and to us also that “the Lord direct your hearts … ” Do you get the idea here that we need some direction to allow ourselves to be bathed in the love of God? I know, we spit out the words of John 3.16 almost without thinking about them: “For God so loved the world … ” We flippantly say, “Yeah, I know all of that stuff. God loves everybody.”
Why did Paul think it necessary to remind us to let the Lord direct our hearts into God’s love? Could it be that we DON’T understand how MUCH God loves us? Is God’s love for us reflected in our daily lives as we interact with other people? If WE don’t reflect the love of God to a lost and dying world, God doesn’t have a Plan B. We are the only plan He has.
Are there specific instructions in God’s Word about His love? Indeed there are. Here are just a few verses to gve us some understanding: Romans 5.5: “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans8.38-39: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And there are many more.
But let’s move on to the last phrase: “ … and into the patient waiting for Christ.” The Thessalonian believers lived with the expectancy that Christ would return in their lifetime. Several chapters in 1 Thessalonians make reference to Christ’s return – His imminent return. Paul used his writings to direct their hearts “ … into the patient waiting for Christ.”
I must ask myself, and you too, “Am I looking for the imminent return of Christ?” Am I patient in that waiting – meaning that I am doing all I can FOR Him while I await His return? These thoughts are significant to me. I pray they are to you. Just my thoughts …