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Have you ever learned something by example? I’ll bet every one of us has learned how to do something on our cell phones by watching someone else demonstrate it. And whether on a phone or game console, children, teens, even adults will watch each other play video games to pick up techniques and secrets to scoring well.
If we are going to develop brotherly love, maybe we need an example. Listen to 1 Thessalonians 4:9, “Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.” (NIV 1984) The Thessalonians were good at brotherly love. If we look through the first seven verses of the book, we see Paul describe them with the following phrases:” work produced by faith”, “labor prompted by love,” “endurance inspired by hope,” “imitators of us and of the Lord,” and “in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with joy.” This is how they “became a model to all the believers.” The result is the feelings described by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 3:6, “You always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you.” (NIV 1984)
Longing to see someone is a sign of brotherly love. To develop it, do what the Thessalonians did. Work together, endure together, listen to God’s message together, and imitate the Lord.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.