Every congregation has its uniqueness. While we endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, no two congregations will look exactly alike. While we all may do the same things, we don’t do them the same way. And there is nothing wrong with that. We need not be uniform in order to be united. In 2 Thessalonians1:3-4, Paul mentions three things about the church at Thessalonica that made them a special people. As we seek to be a congregation that pleases God, we must continue to grow in these three areas.
Grow in faith. Paul notes that the church’s faith had grown abundantly. After another year of living and after another year of receiving the Word through preaching and teaching, your faith should be at a deeper place now than it was in January 2015. It is not that you have finished growing in faith. Rather, it is that your faith has grown and is continuing to grow. In the midst of your sickness that has had you in and out of the hospital, you still find the will and the strength to worship God. Even when life has disappointed you, you still trust God. Thank God that our faith continually grows abundantly.
Grow in love. The love that every individual member of the entire congregation has for each other should be increasing. How beautiful it is to be a people known for the love that each member has for each and every member. The thing that lets the world know that we belong to Christ is our love. When people come among us, they should experience the love of Christ. It starts with each member loving God above all else. We grow in love for one another by experiencing life together. Note that we will not grow in love unless we are willing to take the risk of being hurt.
Grow in endurance. Endurance is the quality of a Christian that does not allow him or her to surrender to circumstances or give up when facing a trial. As members of the body of Christ, we are called to endure tribulations, the sting of death, economic downturns, and face uncertainty with bold courage. We have been troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed.
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