1Th 4:1-2 “Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.”
Paul has spoken to the Thessalonians with great love and compassion through the first three chapters of this letter. He has told them how deeply he cares for them and has expressed his conviction that they increase and abound in love through the Lord Jesus. He has commended them for their faithfulness and love for himself and his companions. Then he addresses them with the expression “Furthermore.”
According to Strong’s, the Greek word translated as “furthermore” carries the idea of “something remaining.” Paul is telling the church at Thessalonica that they aren’t done yet. Often, we reach a certain place in our service and think “this is it.” Some seem to feel that once they have believed they are finished. Others feel that when they are baptized they have now done all that is expected. Sometimes men who have been licensed to preach think that once they are ordained they have accomplished all there is to do.
The simple truth is that as long as we are living in this world, there will always be a “furthermore.” At the time of this writing, I have been a member of the church for 52 and ½ years. I have been a preacher of the gospel of Christ for 48 and ¼ years. I have served as a church clerk, lead singing, and taught shaped note singing schools. Before you get the idea that I am just blowing my own horn, my point is that I realize every day that I’m not done.
The word of God, both written and preached, still exhorts me and entreats me. Through the Holy Ghost, my Lord Jesus still sends me counsel and instruction, encouragement and correction. He has never handed me a diploma and said “Congratulations! You’re done.” We have received instruction in how we ought to live (walk) and please God; not just by men but by the Holy Ghost. That instruction says we need to do this daily and abound more and more.
The use of the word abound indicates that we do not reach a plateau and become content to just maintain that level of service. We need to abound (go above and beyond the ordinary) in our walk with God and His people. We need to put that love and compassion to practice every day and use it to honor God. Our lives should be more and more about serving others and less and less about pleasing self.
The instructions we have been given are not obscure or too much for us to understand. Paul said we know (see, consider, understand) the charge (commandments) we have been given. Furthermore, we understand that this charge has not come from men. The charge we have been given has come to us by the Lord Jesus. He is the channel by which we know and understand the things of God. He is our example of what it takes to please God with our lives and to serve one another.
May we always look to Him with the assurance that, in Him, we know how to abound unto the glory of God and to seek always to do so more and more!