PASTOR'S PEN: Add to your faith

"As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are now living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more." — 1 Thessalonians 4:1

Paul is commending the people of this church for following God in the way they live. They are showing faith and love and hope. They are caring for others. They are listening to and obeying the Word of God, despite persecution. They are resting in the hope of Christ’s return. Yet, he still implores them to do this more and more. In 3:10 Paul tells them, after applauding their faith, that he would like to see them again and "supply what is lacking in your faith."   If they are living for God and loving as Christ would and have faith, what does Paul mean that something is lacking? Let’s look at an example.

Let’s say you are a hunter, as you may well be. You know how to care for your gun. You know how to aim. You know how to fire accurately and hit your target. You are a great marksman. But then you decide to go into the Marines. When you get to basic the sergeant says, "You are excellent at handling this type of gun. We’re going to teach you how to handle other types of guns. In fact, we’re going to teach you many things you don’t know yet. We’ll teach you hand-to-hand combat, how to move through enemy territory, how to signal without speaking, how to react around a sniper and many other techniques." Though you may be excellent at what you know, the Marines will add to or supply what is lacking in your knowledge and skill. You will become much better after your training then you were before it.

This is what Paul is talking about. Perhaps you do well in your faith and love and hope, but you can still add to it. There are those that can teach you skills and attitudes and actions and supply knowledge you have not yet mastered. You can grow more from the reading of the Word, being diligent in prayer and loving others. Never think that you have fully mastered it. Live for Christ faithfully and continue to do so more and more.