Therefore encourage one another

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Paul had ample reason to commend the church in Thessalonica.  They clearly had gotten some things right.  Of course, just like any other church in any other time or place, the brothers and sisters in ancient Thessalonica were not perfect.  They certainly had their issues (some of which Paul alludes to in both 1 and 2 Thessalonians).  Yet they had a healthy understanding of what it meant to love and encourage one another.  And their love was not limited to just the family of God in one locale—they were known for their concern and care for Christians throughout the entire province.  “Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia.”  Sounds like it was a great place to be!

But Paul does not allow his family in Thessalonica to be satisfied with where they are.  Rather, he encourages them to improve even on the things that they plainly do well.  His admonition to them—at least in part—is that they do more of the good stuff to which they are already accustomed.  “But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more,” he says.

That is a great rallying cry, I believe—“more and more.”  Whatever we are doing as a church that is consonant with the life of Christ, we should do “more and more.”  Whatever as individuals we find our hands doing that builds up the body and reflects the glory of God in this world, we should do “more and more.”  Whatever lifts up, brings peace, shows tenderness and compassion, spreads the love of Jesus, and sacrifices for the sake of others, those things we should do “more and more.”


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