Part 39 – No Greater Joy Than To Hear That My Children Are Walking In The Truth
In this brief Letter the apostle John is going address three different men at this particular church: Gaius – a hospital man who is faithful to the Truth; Demetrius – a 'well spoken of' man of God; and Diotrephes – a mean-spirited, proud leader. We will spend one week looking at each of these men, starting with Gaius next week. Although we'll go into detail concerning Gaius this coming Sunday, this past week's message (today's Sermon Summary) focused on some encouraging words that the apostle John spoke to Gaius and to anyone else there at the church who John has influence and who is walking in the truth.
I related to the church how in seven years in the youth ministry you didn't often see instant spiritual results or immediate "maturity", and by its very nature and definition, maturity comes in time. So day after day, week after week, year after year I continued to encourage the youth by teaching them the Word, being a godly example around them, being there for them, having fun with them, etc. in hopes that fruit would be borne. And of course, in some of the teens they came to faith, grew in those four years, and moved on with the Lord. But you didn't always see that with everyone.
So, 3 John 4 (and 2 John 4 is very similar) was a verse that I kept close to my heart all through the youth ministry, and beyond as a senior pastor, believing that the Lord was faithful, and (another verse that was just as encouraging to me – Philippians 1:6) I knew that 'the good work that the Lord started He would faithfully complete'. If the Lord started the work of salvation in that freshman who listened to me share the Word, then the Lord would faithfully see him/her to the end. Of course, that verse from 3 John 4 that we looked at in this sermon that has so encouraged me over the years says:
I have no greater joy than to hear that mychildren are walking in the truth.
And with the advent of Facebook I have been able to connect with many – and I mean many – of my former students – many of whom are walking with the Lord – and many of them are in leadership, pastoring, married to a pastor, in mission work, and/or just walking in the truth (and by 'just' walking I don't mean that is lesser in spiritual stature than others). And it brings me great joy to hear about their walk, as it does with members at Grace that have been with us for so many years and are continuing to walk diligently in the truth.
So, the questions that we need to ask ourselves from this message are:1. Are we walking in the truth?2. Are you continuing to pray for, witness to, love, be example to, and encouraging those in your family or life who haven't come to faith, or who have giving a previous profession of faith, but are shining, or who you just don't know where they stand in the faith? Well, keep it up. Don't become weary in doing good, for at the proper time you'll reap a harvest if you do not give up (Galatians 6:9).3. When as the last time you contacting that person who mentored you, or who influenced you spiritually, or who lead them to the Lord? Give them a call, email them, somehow in in touch and share your testimony with them. It will bring them great joy!