Summary: Let the church be abounding more and more in love!
• APATHY – INDIFFERENCE – UNCONCERNED
• Talk about Enemies to every Christian AND destroyers of the church… these will certainly do it!
APATHY: AN absence of emotion or enthusiasm!
INDIFFERENCE: Not seeming to care about anything.
UNCONCERNED: It’s not my problem, my issue. So what!
NOTE: there is that tendency in all of us to put it all into cruise control and coast through life.
• I’ve arrived! This is my destination.
• But if you’re on earth, you haven’t reached it yet.
• Our destination guys, is heaven.
• Our goal is to take as many people with us as possible.
SO WHAT HAPPENS when we float on into cruise control?
• Let’s flip over to Jeremiah 48:11ff
• God won’t let us stay there… poured from vessel to vessel.
• Trials, Tribulations, & Tests come our way.
• Open Doors, Opportunities,
• All so that we might stay fresh and grow in the Lord.
2 Peter 3.17-18 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
NOTE: We definitely live in some exciting times. Filled w/ exciting opportunities. Moving in some exciting directions.
• AND with them comes such an urgency in our day!
• An urgency to get the gospel of Jesus Christ out and see men and women repent from their sins!
REALLY, IT’S NOT UNLIKE the days for the church in Thessalonica.
• As God’s Word so penetrated their lives in just a few weeks.
• They were eager to serve Him and spread the Word!
• So much so, that as we already learned
1 Thess 1.2-3 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, 3 remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father,
SO Paul takes quill in hand to encourage the believers in Thessalonica, to uplift them, and push them forward.
• The letter’s all about going farther, pressing on!
• That’s Paul’s relationship with them, he’s exhorting them.
• Look back at 2:10-11, 3.12, 4.1, 3.10,
• Considering the days in which they lived, they weren’t to become complacent, to turn apathetic, but to press on!
This message is for so many of you right now, today.
• You’re at a point of exhaustion & fatigue.
• But know, the finish line is just up ahead, right around the corner, and how the Lord desires to help you!
I. (4:1-2) Finally.
Chapter 4 opens up with the words Finally… and just like the true pastor, Paul will go on for another 2 chapters after his ‘finally’.
• He’s turning a corner here to inspire them on.
• He wants them to ABOUND… to overflow in love & purity.
THE WORD FOR ABOUND IN v1 means to “overflow, to have in abundance, to furnish richly”
• As Jesus fed the 5000, and it says,
John 6.12-13 - So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, "Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost." 13 Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. OVER AND ABOVE
As the church is growing tremendously…
Acts 16.5 - So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.
• It also describes a flower going from a bud to full bloom.
• We get the picture that it’s only just begun. That there is much more than we even expect! Again notice v1-2
II. (4:1-2, 9-12) More & More in LOVE
1. (4:1-2, 9-12) Abound More & More in LOVE
a. Ok Guys… keep growing & keep maturing…
b. Abound more & more in it.
c. And that’s the pattern of Paul’s life. He’s the encourager, the exhorter, and he says, “you’re doing great, now do better” You’ve come this far, now go farther”
NOTE: As we survey the landscape of the church today, I believe one ministry has fallen to the wayside:
• The ministry of EXHORTATION.
Romans 12.6-8 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
AND AS A Church, we need a balance.