8:00 a.m. service
January 14, 2018
The Porch, Lopue’s East
Bacolod City, Philippines
1 Thessalonians 4:1–2
 Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.  For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. (ESV)
1 Thessalonians 4:9–10
 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another,  for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, (ESV)
The Christian life is about pleasing God.
 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; (ESV)
This is the abundant life that Christ talked about in John 10:10. “I came that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
We please God by loving him and our neighbor. Verses 3 to 8 is about loving God by submitting to his will regarding holiness. Verses 9 to 10 is about loving our brothers and sisters in Christ. And verses 11 to 12 is about loving outsiders
1. LOVE IS CHARACTERISTIC OF BELIEVERS. “For that indeed is what you are doing…” (verse 10)
By their fruits you shall know them. They will know we are Christians by our love.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
“We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.” (1 John 3:14)
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)
2. LOVE IS INSTINCTIVE IN BELIEVERS. “You yourselves have been taught by God to love one another.” (verse 9)
God teaches us this love through his Holy Spirit, who writes love on the tablet of our hearts. He has injected love into our spiritual DNA, so to speak. He produces the fruit of love in us. So, we love not because we are externally compelled to do so, but because we inwardly delight to do so. It is our nature as children of God to love.
“It is written in the Prophets ‘And they will all be taught by God.’” (John 6:45; c.f., Isa. 54:13)
 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (ESV)
“I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts.” (Jeremiah 31:33)
“And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” (Ezekiel 36:27)
3. LOVE IS DEMONSTRATIVE. “For that [loving one another] indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia.” (verse 10)
According to one commentator, what the Thessalonians were doing was expressing their love by extending financial support to the other churches in Macedonia, presumably including Philippi and Beroea.
Love is not mere sentiment or warm feelings for others. It is practical and issues in action.
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:17-18)
This reminds me of our speaker last Sunday – Bro. Dondoy. Last Saturday, he buried his mother at Heaven’s Gate, Talisay. Then the next day, he preached in our church. In the afternoon of that Sunday, he visited the poor children who were participating in a feeding program at Pope John Paul’s Tower near SM, which program I assume he facilitated. Then after that we proceeded to Sum-ag for a medical mission. Here was a man who loved not merely in word but also in deed and in truth!
4. LOVE IS EXTENSIVE. “For that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia.” (verse 10)
Brother Dondoy belongs to the Southern Baptist group, but that didn’t stop him from coordinating with Roman Catholics in order to reach out to poor children and show them love by feeding them and sharing to them the gospel. He said that he builds bridges without compromising his faith. We can’t confine love for our fellow Christians to those who belong only to our particular group. The family of God is much bigger than the 300 people that regularly attend Ikthus East every Sunday.
5. LOVE IS GENERATIVE. “But we urged you, brothers, to do this more and more.” (verse 10)
It is ever-increasing, ever growing. We should always be thinking about how we can show more love to more people. We have many plans and activities for our church. Whatever these may be, we should never forget that the greatest is love! We should always ask ourselves: Is what we are doing resulting in more love to more people? This is abundant life – abounding in love!
“God demonstrated his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
You can’t practice this kind of love unless you’ve experienced it for yourself in terms of God’s love for sinners like you and me. “We love because he first loved us.”