Increase & Abound? 1 Thessalonians 3:12

Posted: October 27, 2010 in 1 Thessalonians
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(1Th 3:12) And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you,

Paul uses two words here that should really drive home his point to us; increase and abound. Look at the Greek translation for both of these words.

πλεοναζω pleonazo pleh-on-ad’-zo from 4119; to do, make or be more, i.e. increase (transitively or intransitively); by extension, to superabound:–abound, abundant, make to increase, have over.

The word increase is used 10 times in the New Testament, but this is the only time it’s translated this way. Now lets look at the word abound;

περισσευω perisseuo per-is-syoo’-o from 4053; to superabound (in quantity or quality), be in excess, be superfluous; also (transitively) to cause to superabound or excel:–(make, more) abound, (have, have more) abundance (be more) abundant, be the better, enough and to spare, exceed, excel, increase, be left, redound, remain (over and above).

Ok I’m almost done with the comparisons, but lets just take a look at one example of the word increase used in the New Testament.

Increase is used in Luke 17:5, here is the definition;


προστίθημι prostithēmi pros-tith’-ay-mee From G4314 and G5087; to place additionally, that is, lay beside, annex, repeat: – add, again, give more, increase, lay unto, proceed further, speak to any more.

So compare that with the way it’s used here and you can begin to understand what Paul was saying.

Paul was saying, I’m praying that you overflow with love, that you have love to spare and that it will never stop increasing. Oh, and all this love that you have overflowing from you, it should be spilling over on to everyone! You can’t just pick and choose who your love is going to touch, you can’t just love your Christian brothers and sisters, you must love everyone!

You know, if you think about it, and I may be way off here, but it’s not our love. What we should be overflowing with is Gods love poured out on us! So who are we to keep it to our selves, what, do we think we’re special or something? Yes, we are special and so is the guy down the street from you, and the one down the street from him, you get the picture, we are all special to God.

(Joh 13:35) By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

How will they know? Because love is an action, it’s not something you can hold on to, it’s not something that you can just get and store away somewhere. Love isn’t love if it’s not moving from you to someone else. Love isn’t about us, it’s about the other guy. And I think we really need to understand that. It’s not about us, when we love someone, it’s about them!

Paul ends by saying, “even as we do toward you” Paul’s saying we are your example, do what we do. Share the gospel, have joy when someone is saved, help those who need help, pray for the lost as well as the saved and work hard for the Lord. Love like we love you! I think most of us would look at that and say, wow, you love me, when I’ve done, you fill in the blank. Paul say’s yes I do love you because God first loved me.

We should be saying the same thing about ourselves to others, Yes, I do love you because God first loved me.



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