3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. 4Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.These two verses from 2 Thessalonians just grab my attention. Why? Because Paul thanks God because their faith is growing abundantly and they are loving each other more and more.
Just stop and think about that for a moment.
These are young believers who are eager to know God. They want to grow in the knowledge of him. They aren't content to just sit back and let someone else do all the teaching and learning. They are right there, wanting to know God more. They are right there loving each other and learning how to do it better.
I read that and I think...this is how it aught to be in the church. People increasing their love for each other. People growing in their faith.
It's no small wonder to me that Paul and his cohorts boast about them to other bodies of believers. This is what the church should be filled with. People eager to grow in their faith and people eager to love each other all the more. That is how to grow believers who are steadfast in their faith despite the "icky stuff" that happens in life.
When I stopped to see what the e-sword commentators had to say about these verses I liked how Clarke put it:
The word ὑπεραυξανει [translated abundantly in ESV] signifies to grow luxuriantly, as a good and healthy tree planted in a good soil; and if a fruit tree, bearing an abundance of fruit to compensate the labor of the husbandman. Faith is one of the seeds of the kingdom; this the apostle had sowed and watered, and God gave an abundant increase. Their faith was multiplied, and their love abounded; and this was not the case with some distinguished characters only, it was the case with every one of them.Can you imagine being part of a church where EVERY SINGLE member of the church was growing in their faith? A church where their love for each other was seen in the larger community? That is a church to thank God for. That is a church to talk about. :)
Oh...that I might help build my church to be like this too! :)