In writing in Colossians Paul tells the Christians that he thanks God for their love (1:3, 4). This love was not a generic love but a love that they had for God’s people. They loved one another in such a powerful way that Paul had heard of their love. It is was tangible. It was evident. It was clearly seen. They were a loving church.
In writing to the Thessalonians Paul tells them in the first epistle that he was thankful for their love as well (1:2, 3). This love lead them to labor, to exert effort. This understanding of love stands in stark contrast to our culture of love is a matter of how one feels. Paul was thankful that they were willing to put forth the effort to show genuine love. Love that rolls up its sleeves and gets to work!
In the Second Letter to this church Paul is thankful that this loving church has continued to grow in love. Love is something that we can increase in. It is something that we can get better at. It was a source of thankfulness of Paul that the church in Thessalonica had increased its love (To learn more about 1 and 2 Thess. click here and here).
So if you are thinking this week about what to to give thanks to God for then remember those who love. Those who love are those who sacrificially labor for God. The love they have leads them to labor. Recognize those who love and those who increase and love and give thanks to God for them.