3 John 1-4 Walking in the Truth
John writes a special letter to one individual; Gaius. But his tone is for all of us. Keep walking in the truth!
Gaius was apparently one of John’s converts; his spiritual child. He is VERY pleased to hear the reports of how he has been living his faith. Because John is highly focused on brotherly love, I would venture to guess that Gaius exercises this spiritual trait a LOT.
I wonder what kinds of acts of love Gaius engaged in. We will see what some of his acts involved in our next reading. Was he one of the church leaders?
I certainly identify with John’s joy at seeing “his child” following God. This is any Christian parent’s prayer. I know it’s my prayer.
John also “prays”, enquires after, Gaius’ health. Does this mean he was ill before or is John simply praying for continued health? John also ties Gaius’ physical health with his spiritual health. “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul” (verse 2). I wonder why this was. Was John meaning the reverse; that Gaius’ faith was strong and John prayed for healing for Gaius?
Sometimes it takes physical suffering to bring about spiritual growth. We tend to look to God more when we are in distress than any other time. This shouldn’t be so! Paul says to praise Him at all times. Let His praise continually be in my mouth. In ALL things give Him thanks. And meditate on His word day and night. These lead to spiritual health and spiritual health often leads to physical health. It certainly leads to joy. It leads to the joy of the Spirit which can climb any mountain. It’s not “lucky sneakers” that bring you this joy but a deep relationship with God.
This joy, even in the face of physical weakness, can stand. It’s because this joy is not dependent on physical health or wealth, but comes from THE True Source; the Holy Spirit. I think that is the kind of joy John was referring to. His spirit was joyful because he recognized that same Spirit in Gaius. Gaius actions spoke of his connection to the Holy Spirit.
Father God, I would LOVE to say these things about my own children; “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (verse 4). I trust You are still working on that situation Lord. Don’t let me take them out of Your hands and try and fix the situation myself. Help me leave them in Your hands and wait patiently for You to do Your work. After all, they were Yours LONG before they were mine. Psalm 139
1 You have searched [them], Lord,
and You know [them].
2 You know when [they] sit and when [they] rise;
You perceive [their] thoughts from afar.
3 You discern [their] going out and [their] lying down;
You are familiar with all [their] ways.
4 Before a word is on [their] tongue
You, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem [them] in behind and before,
and You lay Your hand upon [them].
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can [they] go from Your Spirit?
Where can [they] flee from Your presence?
8 If [they] go up to the heavens, You are there;
if [they] make [their] bed in the depths, You are there.
9 If [they] rise on the wings of the dawn,
if [they] settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there Your hand will guide [them],
Your right hand will hold [them] fast.
11 If [they] say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to You;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to You.
13 For You created [their] inmost being[s];
You knit [them] together in [my] womb.
14 I praise You because [they are] fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 [Their] frame was not hidden from You
when [they were] made in the secret place,
when [they were] woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw [their] unformed bod[ies];
all the days ordained for [them] were written in Your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, [we are] still with You…
23 Search [us], God, and know [our] heart[s];
test [us] and know [our] anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in [us],
and lead [us] in the way everlasting.
And bring my children into Your way also. This is my prayer for them Lord.