Every once and a while, my youth group chooses a book of the Bible, and we spend a week, Sundays and Wednesdays, per chapter. The most recent one we did was 1 Thessalonians, and one day, our youth pastor Rob had a great illustration to use with chapter 3, verse 12. I wish I had the pictures he used and a video of his demonstration, but I don't know what he does with them after he records each day.
The verse says, "May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other, and for everyone else, just as ours does for you."
This is not just to increase within ourselves. What good is a cup that is filled and filled, until it overflows like this one above, if it only spills out into the floor? Yes, it is great to have others pouring into you, but you also need others that you are pouring into. Erin, a college student and intern at FBC refers to this as having a Paul, Timothy, and Barnabus. We all need at least one of each. We need someone who is more mature than us in the faith that can teach us and pour into us. (Pual). We need someone younger than us, who needs someone above them in the faith, so that we can share with them. (Timothy). We also need a Barnabus, someone who is with us along the journey to understand and grow right along side us.
This is what our overflowing faith should look like! One person pouring into another, all encouraging each other and building each other up in the faith.
May your love not only increase within yourself, but may it also overflow into the world!