1Th 4:9-12 “But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.”
There are some things we know we should do without any man instructing us. God, the Holy Ghost, living in us teaches us to love one another. This law He has written in our hearts and in our minds (Heb 8:10, 10:16). We cannot honestly claim that we do not know that we should love one another in the church with the affection of a close family. God Himself teaches us this truth!
When we are blessed by God to love one another that love tends to spread. Paul says the church at Thessalonica did it toward all the brethren which were in Macedonia. During the days of the Roman Empire, Macedonia covered about 25,000 square miles. The love of God in His church at Thessalonica was powerful enough to reach over this whole region. Yet, Paul once again urged these brethren to increase more and more. I wonder if we have lost sight of how much power there is in the love of God (1Jn 4:8) and in the fact that this is something we do.
As we do this mighty love of God, we will find ourselves lead to other important aspects of living together in love. It is important that we study to be quiet. The Greek word rendered as “study” is defined by Strong’s to mean “to be fond of honor, that is, emulous (eager or earnest to do somethingng.): – labour, strive, study.” Being quiet is something we have to work at, and the love of God enables us to do so. The word translated as “quiet” means more than just being silent: Strong’s also indicates it carries the idea of not meddling in the affairs of others.
In addition to striving to not be busybodies, we are instructed to do our own business. We are to be actively engaged in whatever labor the Lord has set before us (Ecc 9:10). This is not about supervising and critiquing the work of others. We are to be about our own business before the Lord and to labor with our own hands. The service of God is not a spectator sport, and providing for the needs of our own house (both physically and spiritually) is something we are charged with in God’s word.
The end result of this is that we can live honest lives. This will be seen by our brethren, but just as importantly it will be seen by those outside our current “family circle.” I find it interesting that Paul uses the phrase to “walk honestly toward them that are without.” While there is no need to write to us concerning brotherly love, sometimes we need to be reminded that we should also honestly love those that are without. This love needs to be the fruit of our labor so that they may see there is no dissimulation. In living in this manner, we will be able to say with David that the Lord is our shepherd and we have no want.
May God bless us to always love in word and deed with honest hearts before Him!