The Apostle Paul prayed that the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ would be with the believers in Corinth. Who could ask for more? However, in the next verse, he adds, “My love be with you all in Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 16:24). Why? The grace of Christ produces love in our hearts. Love delights in reciprocal love.
God designed us to love each other. Paul was interested in each person in Corinth. They didn’t constitute numbers on his conversion list or followers of his ministry to whom he could send flattering donation appeal letters. They were individuals created in God’s image, and he loved them.
Paul wasn’t the type to parachute in and out of people’s lives depending on his “preaching tour schedule.” He knew them intimately. “So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us” (1 Thessalonians 2:8). Paul’s words express the strongest affection and connection.
Paul prays this for us: “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you” (1 Thessalonians 3:12).