Paul is nearing the conclusion of his letter. He asks for continued prayer and reminds this group that God Himself is the one in charge of their lives.
The Thessalonian church rapidly grew when Paul brought them the word. We are only told of him being there for three successive Sabbaths. We don’t know if he was there a little longer before his host was dragged before the council. What we do know is that the word was received quickly.
They were not the “soil” that receives quickly then dies quickly too. They were good and fertile soil. I would say this was a hungry and ready group. God did that; no one else could have. The Spirit prepared their hearts before they even heard Paul’s first words.
Paul preached the gospel in many places but not everyone was ready to receive it. I wonder what it is that makes two people hear the same thing and only one of them accepts it. Is it their circumstances? Is it their upbringing? Or is it their willingness to listen to the Spirit of God? “For not all have faith” (verse 2b).
“But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one” (verse 3). God is faithful to all who turn to Him in faith. Those who truly search will find Him. And He will grow them if they allow Him to. There is SO much more to learn if we will let Him build on our foundation of faith.
That firm foundation: “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ” (verse 5). On this foundation everything else rests. Without it everything falls.
Each of us has to seek that personal relationship with God. We won’t get it through our parents. We can’t adopt their faith and expect it to grow in our lives without getting to know God personally ourselves. We don’t inherit our faith. We let God establish it in our hearts through His presence in our lives.
My heart aches Father God for my children. I wish I could have opened their hearts and poured our time together into their hearts. I wish I could have had faith for them. But that is not how You designed it. We each come to You on our own. I’m waiting on You to work that wonder in their lives. I know You are faithful and Your promises are true. “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). I’m holding onto that promise Father for my children.
I pray my “training” of them met Your expectations for this promise too. I am not, nor was I ever perfect. As a parent I made mistakes too. Please don’t let my mistakes interfere with their eternity. Bless them in spite of my mistakes. Once again, I leave them in Your hands. Yours are much more capable than mine.