We always thank God for you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before God our Father how your faith is working, your love is growing, and your hope is enduring in your Lord Jesus Christ.
Children, chosen by God, we know that He has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit, and with deep conviction. You know how we have lived with you day and night, choosing to train you at home for your sake. You became imitators of us and the Holy Spirit. And so you became the model to all the onlookers in your community. Your faith in God has become known everywhere. Friends, relatives, and neighbors report of your service to God.
You know our decision to train you at home was not a failure. With the help of God we dared to tell you His message in spite of any hardships. We are not trying to do things man’s way, but we are confident our ways are approved by God, who tests our hearts. We love you so much that we are delighted to share our lives with you, teaching you His ways, being gentle with you and caring for you because you are so dear to us.
We worked hard at being good examples to you, while encouraging and comforting you, urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into His kingdom and glory. We thank God continually because you did receive the message of God and He is working in you now. For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown of exultation in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when He comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy!
Now may the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May He strengthen your hearts so that you will be faultless in purity in the presence of our God and Father. We instruct you, children, how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living; we urge you to do so more and more. You should be holy, and learn to control your desires in a way that is pure and honorable, not as the ungodly do. No one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your hands at becoming self-sufficient, so that your daily life may win the respect of others and so that you will not depend on anybody.
Encourage each other about the Good News of Christ and the life we will live with Him, and live in such a way so that you will not be surprised at His coming. Respect those who work hard among you in the different ministries, and also those who are over you in the Lord, who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live at peace with each other, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other. Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit’s fire in your heart or in another’s. Hold on to the good around you and avoid every kind of evil.
May God Himself, the God of peace, clean you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus. The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it!With All Our Love, Mom and Dad
© Debbie and Dean Peterson (The Carusos’ daughter & Son-in-Love)