“Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more.” 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 NIV
The church at Thessalonica really needed the apostle’s teaching. Sometimes that meant informing and sometimes it meant motivating. In some areas, like understanding the implications of the resurrection, they were uninformed and needed information. In other areas, like loving one another, they just needed some motivation to act on information already available to them.
God Himself had taught the church to love. God taught them love was an action verb. God taught them love was seeking the best for others rather than self. God taught them love was sacrificing self. God came to earth in the flesh, lived a life of humble service, and sacrificed Himself on the cross. What was left for Paul to teach them?
They were loving each other. And their love was not just for their small clique. They loved the brothers and sisters throughout the region.
We don’t have to imagine the impact. Jesus told us what it would be.
“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other” (John 13:34-35 The Message).
God taught them to love. He taught them how to love. He explained the impact of love. He lived a life of love as an example for His disciples to follow.
There was nothing more for Paul to say in the way of giving them information. But there was just one more thing for him to say in the way of motivation. He urges them to do what they know to do. He urges them to love. He urges them to love more and more.
Sometimes we don’t need information. We just need motivation. We know what to do. We just need to do it.
God taught us to love. It’s time we get the urge.