No greater joy

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are living according to the truth. 3 John 4

When you teach someone the gospel, you invest time and energy into that person. Many times you hear their struggles and their weaknesses as well as good things about them. As the person begins to read and study the Bible, you can almost see the challenges to their thinking. You watch as the person goes from knowing little of the Bible, to reading regularly. As the seed is planted, you can see it sprouting into faith and often blooming into something beautiful.

We moved to another city after living years where we had been. We had taught the gospel to many people. We had many spiritual children. The joy of returning some years later and seeing those who were still there faithfully continuing their walk in Christ brought such joy. Our work did not feel as if it had been in vain. Our efforts had been rewarded.

I have also had the opportunity to talk with unfortunately too many parents who have seen their own children leave the faith. The sadness is great and often brings tears of frustration and hopelessness.

We must do our best to see our children, grandchildren, and others we have taught stay faithful. That is best accomplished by instilling a strong love of God’s word and respect for its authority. There is no greater joy!

#risingjoy #3-John #joy

Imitate what is good

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

Dear friend, do not imitate what is bad but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does what is bad has not seen God. 3 John 1.11

John is writing to Gaius, a faithful brother in the church. In the congregation where he participated, it would appear that Diotrephes was trying to control people by telling them who to receive and who not to receive.

John tells Gaius not to imitate what is bad, but what is good. There are two choices in life: good and bad. It is not man that determines what is good and what is bad. It is God who determines what is good or bad. We find this written in his word.

It is interesting to note that both men were a part of the same congregation, but Diotrephes had allowed sinful attitudes to take over in his life.

In every congregation, there will be those who are worthy of imitating and those who are not. We will know by their fruits. The question each one needs to consider is if I am worthy of imitating. Paul said that we should be imitators of him just as he is of Christ, 1 Corinthians 11.1. Would John encourage someone to imitate me?

#risingjoy #3-John #imitation