Brotherly Love (1 Thessalonians 4:9–10) - Radical

Brotherly Love (1 Thessalonians 4:9–10)

“Now, concerning brotherly love, you have no need for anyone to write to you. For you, yourselves have been taught by God to love one another. For that is indeed what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you brothers, to do this more and more.”
-1 Thessalonians 4:9–10

I love this picture first, just the picture that we see in the Bible of brotherly love. And we see this all over the New Testament, but everyone who’s a follower of Jesus is a part of the family of God that we are in a true and deep and eternal way, brothers and sisters in Christ, sons and daughters of God. We are family in a way that, I mentioned, is truer, deeper and more eternal than even blood bonds of biological family lines that, you and I, as you’re listening to this, if you’re a follower of Jesus, we are family.

1 Thessalonians 4:9–10 Reminds Us of God’s Family

And so we should never tire when we’re reading the New Testament, of seeing this picture of family and being reminded, this is how we relate to other followers of Jesus, as family. And Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4:9, “Concerning brotherly love, you have no need for anyone to write you for you. Yourselves have been taught by God to love one another,” but then he says in verse 10, “But we urge you brothers to do this more and more.”

What a good urging, what a good exhortation. One to be reminded that in the world, every follower of Jesus around you is family. And so how can you love other followers of Jesus as family, as brothers and sisters in Christ? And to do this more and more, that’s the language in verse 10 more and more? How can you do this more and more? I want to encourage you today to go out of your way to do something for another follower of Jesus that you would do for a family member.

1 Thessalonians 4:9–10 Praises God as Father

Now think of something that you would do for a mom or a dad or a physical brother or sister, that’s what family does. That you would go out of your way to do that for someone else in the body of Christ. And as we do, let’s pray that God would help us to love one another more and more and more like this.

Oh God, we praise you as our Father in Heaven. And we praise you for the privilege of being your sons and daughters. To think that I’m a son in your family and I have brothers and sisters all around me that I’ll interact with today. God, I pray that you would help me to love them like family, help me to love them in a way that honors you as our Father. God help us to love one another. Well, help us not to get caught up in a culture that is quick to accuse and belittle and cancel and slander and speak against one another.

1 Thessalonians 4:9–10 Prays for a Distinct Love

God, we pray that there would be such a distinct love between us as brothers and sisters in Christ. Just as you said Jesus, the world would know that we’re followers of yours, by the way we love one another. So God help us today to intentionally reach out in love to someone else who’s in this family you’ve made us a part of, to go out of our way to serve, care for, encourage, build them up as members of the same family.

And in this God help us to learn to love one another more and more and more. And God, even as we pray for this love and the family. We pray for more people to come into the family for the Tujia people, close to 10 million of them among whom there are a small number of followers of Jesus. We have family among the Tujia people.

1 Thessalonians 4:9–10 Leads Us to Pray for the Tujia People

God, we pray for your blessings on our brothers and sisters in Christ among the Tujia people of east Asia. And God, we pray that you would give them boldness and grace spread the gospel among the many people, in this people group who have little to no knowledge of it who are worshiping all kinds of other gods and spirits.

God, we pray for your blessings on the church among the Tujia people that more and more disciples might be made and more churches might be planted and God that you would hear our prayers and use our lives to come alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ that more among the Tujia people, more and more of them might be brought into the family. God help us to love one another well as your family today in such a way that we bring more people into the family in Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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