“ We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing.” (2 Thessalonians 1:3)
We just don’t pray like they used to, unless always was an exaggeration. Today, “Sweet hour of prayer” would be “Sweet five minute quiet time with God.” And most of us feel pretty darn spiritual if we faithfully sit down and pray and read our bibles for a sum total of five minutes. Discipline is in short supply in America and the Church especially often decries it as “Legalism!”
When I look at this again, though, what pastor or teacher wouldn’t be so hugely grateful to God for a congregation growing by leaps and bounds in faith and love? So often we stop in the kiddie pool. Anyone ought to be excited over such a church that lives faith and lives love, not merely talks about it, not merely is nice to you on Sunday morning, but consistently lives it, even goes out their way to be there for each other each and every day, like the family we should be rather than the weekly social club we often behave like.
Lord, increase our discipline. Move us from the shallow waters into the deep ocean of your love and your faith at work in us and overflowing to all around us. Strengthen us to seek what is best and right and crucify the flesh and its wicked desires, not out of fear of hell, but out of love for you and a desire to be more like you.