Growing and Increasing

Scripture: 2 Thessalonians 1:3, ‘We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.’


Observations: The main idea here is Paul’s thanksgiving for the Christians in Thessalonica. When Paul says he ‘ought’ to always thank God for them, he doesn’t mean he thinks it’s a good idea, rather he means he must do so, it’s a debt he owes to God on behalf of them. This is reinforced by the phrase, ‘rightly so.’ It is right and proper that he thanks God for them. And the reason is two-fold. Firstly, ‘because your faith is growing more and more.’ In the Greek it’s your faith is growing abundantly, or greatly. What evidence would lead Paul to conclude that their faith was growing? It seems they were remaining firm in their faith despite great persecution (v4), and their faith was also resulting in action (v11). Secondly, Paul give thanks to God because ‘the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.’ Not only is their faith increasing so is their love for each other. According to Jesus love is one of the marks of those who follow him (Jn 13:35).


Application: There are three direct applications in this verse. Firstly, is your faith in Jesus Christ increasing or decreasing or going nowhere? When you first become a Christian it’s because you believed the truth about him, but as we mature our faith should grow stronger and deeper, as our understanding of God’s grace in Jesus Christ grows and deepens, as we stand firm in suffering, and as we grow in serving God. Secondly, is your love for others increasing? Do you find people who were once difficult to love easier to love? Are you investing less time in yourself and more time in others? Thirdly, do you giving thanks to God for the growth you see in your brothers and sisters in Christ? Are you encouraging and celebrating these things in others?


Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for how You are growing the faith and love of people in Westside. It’s so exciting to see how Your Spirit is working in the lives of Your people, and making them more like Jesus Christ. Lord, may Your Spirit grow my faith in Jesus, and increase my love for others. Lord, may my Christian life not stagnate, but may I continue to become more like Jesus Christ, as I become less and You and others become more. May my life increasingly bring You glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen. 

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