Wednesday, June 04, 2008

4 Minute Devotions: A Great Granda

My grandfather was a fireman in World War 2 in Britain. After working in a bombed out area, and seeing all of the devastation, he realized that his family meant everything to him. A short reflection based upon 1 Thessalonians 3:12

Podcast version here

My grandfather, whom I am named after, was a fireman in World War 2. When the Nazis bombed the houses and shipyards of Glasgow and Clydebank, Scotland, he had to go out in the midst of the carnage, inferno, and chaos, to do what he could to save lives and buildings. After he saw all of that devastation, it gave him a greater appreciation of his own family.

He was a wonderful grandfather who just loved having his children, grand-children and great-grandchildren around him. His home was open at any time to all of us and didn’t matter how loud we were or disruptive, he just sat back on his old armchair and laughed at our antics.

I once asked him what it was like to have so many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. What he said to me is something that I have never forgotten, “Whenever a new baby comes along, John, my heart just increases with pride and love.” If ever I am blessed to be a great-grandfather, I would very much like to experience the same.

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.

I love what Paul writes to the Thessalonian Church. He’s encouraging them to increase their love for one another and their faith in the Lord. It must have been an exciting time for them, because they were amongst the first churches that Paul had planted. And they must have applied Paul’s words, for to this very day, nineteen hundred years later, Christian churches still flourish in that area.

I think the lesson that we all can learn here is this: if we want to see our own churches grow, we have to be prepared to increase our love of one another, especially when new people come into our midst. If they can experience that our love and fellowship are genuine, warm, and sincere, then why would they want to go anywhere else?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your ever-increasing love. As each generation is born into the world, so Your love increases for the entire earth. Help us to display and express Your love to all whom we meet, especially the newcomers in our churches. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

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