In Paul’s first letter to the church at Thessalonica, it doesn’t take long to see how special the believers are to him. He jumps in at chapter one, the second verse, saying he is thankful for them and prays for them constantly. He goes on to say that as he prays, he thinks about their faithful work, their loving deeds, and the enduring hope they have because of Jesus. One gets the feeling that Paul loves them deeply and that he is very proud of them.
Throughout the rest of the book, Paul continues to point out how strong this church is in faith. He calls them exam- ples to all the believers in Greece, throughout both Macedonia and Achaia. He says that, even when persecuted, their church stands firm. Paul calls them “his pride and joy.”
Though Paul had high praise for this church, by chapter four he is urging them to live in a way that pleases God. He acknowledges that they live this way already, but encourages them “to do so even more.” Another translation puts it this way: “…that you should abound more and more.” In essence Paul is telling us that even though we may be doing loving deeds at this time, and even setting a wonderful example for other believers, we mustn’t stop where we are. Paul is saying to them and to us: “Do even more.”
What a message! A challenge to all believers. We may excel in many ways, but even then we must be encouraging one another to abound more and more. We need to focus on the cross and be reminded that we must never stop pressing on for the glory of God.