I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. (3 John 1:4 ESV)
As a father I sure can relate to this. When I see my children looking it for each other and putting each other first it makes my day. To see them make choices that reflect a real love for the Lord fills my heart with great delight! I can’t imagine any Christian parent feeling any different.
I am beginning to understand that matters of my children’s heart is a result of God’s work and not my own. I know God uses means and parents are a primary means but even so, it seems ever more clear to me that God has his own timing in the tuning of their hearts. So when I see a child doing something that shows that God’s love has penetrated his heart, I am amazed.
John writes this not about his biological children but those in the church. When I think about all of the metrics that are usually associated with “success” in ministry, walking in the truth is not one of them. Instead, it is attendance and giving and involvement. A pastor can drive these things. But none of these things necessarily reflects the way the church attendee walks. That is a heart issue. John’s joy is not in the metrics that might give him glory, but the metric that gives God glory.
You can apply this to your own calling no matter what it is. You can find joy in the metrics that tie back directly to your work (and thus give you recognition) or you can find your joy in the blessing of your employer or customer, or community regardless of whether or not it ties back directly to you. You can do this when your view of work is understood and approached from a Biblical perspective, when you see it as cultivating God’s world. That is to walk in the truth and gives your heavenly Father joy.
What is your greatest joy?
Ask the Lord to press the gospel deeper into your heart and mind.
McCheyne’s reading plan: 2 Ch 8, 3 Jn 1, Hab 3, Ps 119:1-24
I know I have a spot in heaven reserved just for me.
When I see others smile.
My greatest joy is being alive.
When I am praying and the “I know” without doubt that God has taken charge of the situation.