Friday, August 26, 2016

Two brought accolades. One brought shame.

Friday 8-26-2016   Home in Modesto
Scripture Reading:  Jer 50 - 51    3 John
S=Scripture  O=Observation  A=Application  P=Prayer  SOAP for the soul.

S.  3 John 3-4 For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. NKJV

O.  The Apostle John has apparently outlived all the other disciples. He has lived through torture, imprisonment and isolation. Now he refers to himself as “the elder”. He writes this brief message to one of “his children,” named Gaius. It seems to me unlikely that this is the same Gaius, a convert of Paul from Derbe, since many years have passed, since John calls him one of “his children” and since historians say that Gaius was a common name. So I suppose that this Gaius is a convert of John’s own ministry.  An elderly pastor is concerned about “his children”. He wants them to follow Jesus all the way to the day of their death. He wants to see them emulate the attitudes of Jesus, His love, His concern for the Church and His willingness to serve others. Three men are named in this short letter. Two are faithful servants of God.  But one, who apparently serves as a pastor, has developed an unchristian spirit. 

A.  I rejoice that during more than 50 years of ministry our lives have touched many children, youth and adults. Some of them have gone on to dedicate their lives to God’s service.  I cannot help but rejoice, like a proud daddy, when I see them following Christ faithfully and bearing much fruit.  And I cannot help but suffer heart-break and tears when one stumbles, falls and refuses to accept correction, causing me shame and injuring the body of Christ.  Yet I rejoice in the great majority that continue to faithfully serve our Savior, bringing honor to His Wonderful Name.

P.  Dear Lord, I pray for that one that I cannot forget, for he is my spiritual son. I pray for his glorious restoration. I was lost and You found me. I had no future and You gave me a future. Just give me a heart like Your heart, Jesus… a heart that weeps for the lost, seeks for the lost and rejoices for every one that is found and restored to the flock.  Amen.


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