Friendships in Christ
Excelling Still More Today
we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus,
that as you received from us instruction as
to how you ought to walk and please God
(just as you actually do walk), that you
excel still more."
1 Thessalonians 4:1 Page
instruction can often make a huge difference
in our lives. When I was a
child, I liked to watch people surf.
In many ways, I learned to surf watching the
best surfers, and understanding how they
moved their surfboards across the waves.
I also learned at school, and at home, about
how to think and how to live. Some of
the things I learned at school, I frankly
could care less about. But the things
I learned about surfing, I was eager to put
into practice. I really
enjoyed surfing, and wanted to surf with
greater and greater skill. I wanted to
do many maneuvers on the waves. I was
willing to receive instruction about
surfing, although I could care less about
art history being taught at school.
One thing I received well, and the other
The word "received" in 1 Thessalonians 4:1,
page 1849, means take, take along, accept,
learn. It points in this case to
completely accepted. It joins
together the hearing of the truth with the
proper application in our lives of the
truth. We not only hear the truth, but
we live the truth. Often when I try to
learn something, I know employ a mental and
spiritual filter to see if I should be
learning this new thing. Does it
please God? Will it edify me?
When I read the Bible, however, I know that
God's Word never needs filtering, because I
know that every word of Scripture has been
breathed by God and will profit my life and
soul (2 Timothy 3:16-17, page 1864).
Thessalonians completely accepted the God's
instructions about how to walk to please
Him. Even with this complete
acceptance and application of the truth,
the ministry team requested and exhorted
them to excel still more.
In this sense, God will always urge us to
more and more spiritual growth in our lives.
He will continually be sending us people to
promote more spiritual growth, where we
excel still more. In some case, God
will be sending people to us to confront us
about our sin, and cause us to seek
repentance, confession, and the return to
righteous living. In other cases, God
will send us "excel" still more people.
He plans for us to grow constantly in His
grace, every day.
So, we learn some more about building strong
friendships in Christ.
Strong bonds of friendship form when we
receive the instruction the Lord Jesus
Christ delivers to us through His word.
● Strong bonds of friendship grow when
we excel still more in obedience and
application of the Word of God, particularly
in loving one another more and more.
● We harm our bonds of friendship when
we stop growing in Christ, and refuse to
follow His commandment to excel still more.
Application for Today
Today, I want to excel still more and more
in following Jesus and doing what He wants
with my life. Will you encourage your
friends to excel in Christ more and more