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. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
1 THESSALONIANS 4:9–12
Thessalonica was a key commercial, political, and military city, thriving due to its strategic location on a major trade route. The Thessalonian church was growing, its members loved one another, and the gospel was going forth from their city. In my eyes, the parallels to our community are hard to miss. Howard County is strategically located between Baltimore and Washington and has grown significantly over the past fifty years. Similarly, Grace Community Church was planted just over thirty years ago and has grown from a few families to many thousands worshiping together each weekend. Our body continues to grow, our members love each other, and the gospel is going forth from our region.
Paul’s letter to the Thessalonian church commends them for their example and encourages them to “do this more and more” (v10). Through the book of Thessalonians, Paul is both pleased with this church and lists ways that they can ‘excel still more’ until Jesus returns. His letter is both encouraging and challenging at the same time.
Do you see the Thessalonians “abounding”? Paul cites their love for each other and all the brothers throughout Macedonia. For the past twenty-five years my wife , Stacia and I have been Grace members; I see the same abounding in our body! So if we take Paul’s encouragement further, I believe God is inviting Grace today to “do this more and more.” What does that mean? To me, that means sharing my faith, my talents, and my resources more and more. My abundance (and yours) comes out of the abundance of the work of Christ, and Paul encourages us not to be satisfied with the status quo. We should do more.
- What does this mean to you in light of the next chapter of Grace Community Church?
- How will God use your time, talents, and treasure to do more and more?
Today’s devotional was prayed over and prepared by Ananta Hejeebu, Abounding Campaign Director