May Your Love Increase

"May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you." - 1 Thessalonians 3:12

Dr. Paul Yonggi Cho is pastor of the largest church in the world in Korea. Several years ago, as his ministry was becoming international, he told God, "I will go anywhere to preach the gospel-except Japan." He hated the Japanese with gut-deep loathing because of what Japanese troops had enslaved the Korean people during WWII.

Through a combination of a prolonged inner struggle, several direct challenges from others, and finally an urgent and starkly worded invitation, Cho felt called by God to preach in Japan. He went, but he went with bitterness.

The first speaking engagement was to a pastor's conference-1,000 Japanese pastors. Cho stood up to speak, and what came out of his mouth was this: "I hate you. I hate you. I hate you." And then he broke and wept. He was both brimming and desolate with hatred.

At first one, then two, then all 1,000 pastors stood up. One by one they walked up to Yonggi Cho, knelt at his feet and asked forgiveness for what they and their people had done to him and his people.

As this went on, God changed Yonggi Cho. The Lord put a single message in his heart and mouth: "I love you. I love you. I love you." Since the moment, Paul has had nothing but love for the Japanese people.

Sometimes God calls us to do what we least want to do in order to reveal what's really in our heart. Today in prayer, give your heart to the Lord so He may have you love others for Him.

"To love another person is to help them love God." - Soren Kierkegaard

God's Word: "We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing." - 2 Thessalonians 1:3

By Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2004, Devotional E-Mail DEVOTIONS IN THESSALONIANS

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