1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 “Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; for indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren to excel still more.”
There are just some things you can’t get enough of: encouragement, kindness, success . . . or maybe even chocolate cake to name a few. But something that exceeds all these is love.
We cannot receive too much love, but we also cannot give too much love.
God teaches us through His word and His example that we are to love others, particularly brothers and sisters in Christ. Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church reminding them of this. It wasn’t that they were not showing love – because they were – but Paul urged them to love even more. In fact, he encouraged them to excel in it.
The Thessalonians were going through difficult times. They were dealing with persecution and false teachers who were trying to create divisions. It was imperative for them to stick together, helping one another, encouraging one another, praying for one another, and loving one another.
Today, God’s family still struggles with hard times. Throughout the world brothers and sisters in Christ are suffering persecutions from the enemy of the cross. Others are falling away as they are swayed by the pleasures and philosophies of this world. More than ever we need to practice loving each other. We need to excel in it even more.
This is not always easy. Tense times create short tempers. People are not always lovable, but God does not ask us to love only those who are easy to love. Love is something God asks us to extend even to our enemies.
What does this love look like?
It certainly isn’t a feeling. Feelings can be hurt and feelings can be wrong. This love is a choice; a choice to admonish carefully and tenderly; a choice to help those who are weak; a choice to encourage the fainthearted; and a choice to be patient with everyone.
This kind of love does not repay evil for evil, but always seeks after that which is good. It appreciates those who diligently labor and thinks of others more highly than themselves. It is patient and kind. It is not jealous. It doesn’t brag and is not arrogant. It does not act unbecomingly or seek after its own. It is not easily provoked nor does it take into account a wrong suffered. It does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. This kind of love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
There are many things you can do without, but you can’t get enough or give enough love. It’s crucial! Let’s make it our goal to love each other more.