Finally, brothers and sisters, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus that as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God (as, in fact you are doing), you should do so more and more. I Thessalonians 4:1 (NRSV)
and indeed, you do love all the brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, beloved, to do so more and more. I Thessalonians 4:10 (NRSV)
Regarding the Christian life, this passage illustrates that the most venerable saint living on this earth never attains perfection. In his or her living, he or she never reaches the goal of being the Ultimate Christian. In his or her efforts to live the Christian life and to please God, it is abundantly clear that regardless of all the good things that he or she has done, he or she can do more and more! In our pilgrimage of faith, while we most certainly are making progress, it still may be at the rate of taking two steps forward with an occasional one step backward. The Apostle Paul was convinced that the Thessalonians had learned well how they should live and what they ought to do to please God. He even notes that their lives are evidence of the Thessalonians practicing what Paul, Silas and Timothy had preached. The Apostle Paul urges them to do more and more.
In my own life, I acknowledge that there are some good things that I have done, but I know that I have not always pleased God in my thoughts, words and deeds. I can’t plead ignorance with regards to not knowing what God expects of me. More often I must acknowledge my own willfulness. There is much work for me to do in order to live and to please God! How about you?
Later, in the same brief chapter, the Apostle Paul acknowledges that the Thessalonians have been taught by God how to love one another. Again, the Apostle Paul affirms that they are living out their faith … that they are putting their love into action … by loving brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. And what does Paul write? “But we urge you, beloved, to do so more and more.”
I confess it is hard for me to love the driver whose music is being played so loud that I am receiving bad vibrations in my car. I confess it is hard for me to love neighbors when there are double standards within a community governed by HOA rules. I confess it is hard for me to be patient with family members when I feel that I have exhausted my supply within the course of a workday. I am in need of forgiveness as well as being reminded to love one another and to do so more and more. How about you?
Blessed Lord, thank You for the constant reminder that I need to do more and more to please You. Thank You also for the constant reminder to love one another. Forgive my failures to live and to love as befits one who claims the name, “Christian” that I was given when I accepted You as my Savior and Lord. Amen.