Saturday, November 17, 2007

I Thessalonians 4:9-12


9 Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all the brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, dear friends, to do so more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

The trio continues with the "instructions". Here the topic is to love one another. Earlier the Thessalonians were told that they were being given instructions on how to live well for God and they acknowledged that they were living well, and they were urging them to do so more and more. Now, here with respect to love the same wording is used: we urge you to do so more and more.

NOTE that they were given the instructions to love one another more and more. FIRST--Make your ambition to lead a quiet life. Loving one another is a very simple thing. It has little to do with show and hype and hoopla.

SECOND--Mind your own business. Loving one another begins with you taking care of yourself. Interdependence in a loving relationship requires that each person has his/her own "business" to mind.

THIRD--Work with your hands, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. Pure dependence on another in a supportive relationship requires the ability to be independent.

I like this emphasis. You can love one another best, if you take care of yourself. Years ago I heard a teacher call this kind of thing a "value-for-value relationship." Here's what's interesting to me. We are "instructed" elsewhere in the Scripture that the Spirit of God places each believer in relationship with one another just as He desires us to be. The purpose for this dynamic is to build us all up together into a portrait of love. Now, the Thessalonians hadn't been taught this yet, however they were experiencing it in their walk with one another. I love this. They weren't loving one another because they were taught to do so. What they were experiencing together wasn't something that was "taught", but "caught." This is what is meant in the Bible as experiential knowledge. The love the Thessalonians were experiencing was not given to them by people, but they were "taught" by God to love each other. That's what I mean by "caught".

I have a question for you. Do you know what it means to really love one another or do you just know a lot about it? Have you learned it through books or teachings or have you been taught by God?

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