More and more

Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. 1 Thess. 4:1

"More and more," let this be our watchword today! Let us not be content with what we have done, nor rest in a present contentment of where we are spiritually, but rather always have a holy discontentment with our own progress in sanctification. In order to do that, let us see our life as a walk before God and our aim to please God and not man. The Lord, who sees down into our very souls, whose word pierces even to the dividing asunder of the joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of our hearts, knows how much true progress we have made and how much farther we have to go. We might be able to convince our fellow man that we are okay, but God knows better!

And we are not to just do this "more and more" but we are to abound more and more. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly (Col. 3:16). Let the fruits of the Spirit abound in you. Don't be content with spiritual meagerness. Don't be satisfied with just getting by. Abound!

How do we do this? It isn't so much by learning new things, according to this verse, but by applying old things: "that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God." What the Thessalonian Christians received was God's word through the apostles (2:13), and it is this that they were to give heed to in order to make progress in holiness. The same is true for us. We need to give attention to God's word, and for us this means to know and to constantly apply the teaching of Scripture in our lives.

How do we do this? The exhortation was given "by the Lord Jesus." In other words, this is a gospel exhortation. We don't do this in order to gain God's favor, but because we have God's favor in Christ by faith. We do it, not in our own strength, but in the strength that God provides through Jesus. Without him, we can do nothing, but with him, we can do all things (Jn. 15:5; Phil. 4:13). As we seek the Lord, we will find him and all the grace we need to walk and to please God.

By: Jeremiah Bass