Summary: No matter how much we love people now, god calls us to love even more!
Several weeks ago we noted this from 2 Peter 1:
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
Everything starts with faith in Jesus Christ and the ultimate result is love! Why is the ultimate result love for a Christian?? Remember that a Christian is one in Christ!
God is love! Whoever is in Christ is in God; and whoever is in God will manifest love! Life without Jesus Christ is a life without true love!
Are you in Christ? Life would be meaningless without Christ! Let us all pray this together shall we:
Lord Jesus, I believe you are God and my Creator. I confess that I have disobeyed you in many ways. No matter how small my sin against you Lord Jesus, they are enough to separate me from you, for you are a Holy, Righteous God; sin cannot be part of you.
But Lord Jesus, You willingly left heaven to physically die for all my sins. I believe what You tell me that all my sins, past, present, and future were placed on that cross; and because of this, all my sins are forgiven and I can now belong to You forever.
Take a moment to pray quietly to give thanks!
And so, with our eternal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, let us learn from God’s Word. Open your Bibles to the First Letter to the Thessalonians Chapter 4….
Read along with me now, 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12……….
From v9-10, we can note 3 things:
1. Because of belief in the love of God through Jesus Christ (faith), the Thessalonians knew how to love one another. Perhaps they also heard what God said through the Apostle John; Christians love because God first loved Christians through Jesus Christ!
And so again, loving others is a result of accepting God’s love through Jesus Christ.
2. The Thessalonians were manifesting their love for other Christians!
The Thessalonians were a loving bunch; but what do we note at the end of v10?
3. The Thessalonians were to love even more!
How can this happen? If the ability to love is based on knowing the love of God though Jesus Christ, then knowing more and more about God’s love through Christ will make the Christian love others even more. And so, the instruction really is similar to Ephesians 3:18-19, Grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and know this love that surpasses knowledge! How are we daily grasping God’s love? Do we even think about God’s love on a daily basis?
And what can we note from v11-12? What was God’s desire for the Thessalonians to their community?
The Thessalonians were to win the respect of outsiders with their daily lives! Doesn’t this all make sense? As we grasp God’s love daily, we will be better citizens in our society! God is good and He cares. God is love!
And God states in the passage how this can happen!
a. Lead a quiet life. What does this mean? All English translations states the same thing, to live quiet lives. What does it mean? All we have to do is think of the opposite right? The Thessalonian Christians were not to be loud and obnoxious! You see, a loving life is a humble quiet life, not loud and obnoxious!
And how can we lead a quiet life when we don’t…
b. Mind your own business. I like the way the English Standard Version translates this; to mind your own affairs, 1 Thess. 4:11 ESV Bible. What is it called when people get involved in other people’s business or affairs in which does not involved them or they were never asked to be involved?? Christians should not meddle!
The Thessalonians were to win the respect of outsiders with their daily lives by leading a quiet life, not meddling, and to
c. Work with their hands, so not be dependent on anybody. Does this mean Christians should not help other Christians? – Absolutely not! In context, from Chapter 3 of 1 Thessalonians, Christians are to love one another! So simply, this truth states that Christians are not to be lazy, not to be idle!
The applications to our lives are simple! All the instructions to the Thessalonian Christians apply to us as well! Let us summarize what we are to do:
1. Memorize, understand, and put into practice Ephesians 3:18-19!
Grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and know this love that surpasses knowledge! Here’s a help: Read the Bible daily as a love letter from God and ask yourself daily “How does God love me?”