Dec. 7, 2021

You may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.

3 John from the daily reading in the One Year Bible

The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth.

Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. For I was overjoyed when brothers came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth. I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.

Beloved, you are acting faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brothers and sisters, and especially when they are strangers; and they have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. For they went out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support such people, so that we may prove to be fellow workers with the truth.

I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. 10 For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with malicious words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brothers either, and he forbids those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.

11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does what is good is of God; the one who does what is evil has not seen God. 12 Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself; and we testify too, and you know that our testimony is true.

13 I had many things to write to you, but I do not want to write to you with pen and ink; 14 but I hope to see you shortly, and we will speak face to face.


There are two statements that John makes in today’s text that the Lord impressed on me today. The first is: Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.  Philippians 4:19 says: God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  The world chases after material things; wealth and possessions. That is what it means to be prosperous in the world’s view. In Matthew 16:26 Jesus says: “What good will it do a person if he gains the whole world, but forfeits his soul? Or what will a person give in exchange for his soul?”  We need to recognize that if our soul prospers, we will prosper in all things. In Psalm 23, the psalmist begins: The Lord is my shepherd, I will not be in need.  In Matthew 6:24-33 Jesus says: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the sky, that they do not sow, nor reap, nor gather crops into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more important than they? And which of you by worrying can add a single day to his life’s span? And why are you worried about clothing? Notice how the lilies of the field grow; they do not labor nor do they spin thread for cloth, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you.”

The second thing John says in today’s text is: Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does what is good is of God; the one who does what is evil has not seen God.  In Exodus 33:18-23 it says: Moses said, “Please, show me Your glory!” And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion to whom I will show compassion.” He further said, “You cannot see My face, for mankind shall not see Me and live!” Then the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.”   I’ve heard it said, by people with greater insight than me, that perhaps what Moses saw when he saw the back of the Lord, were the stripes Jesus received when He was crucified for our sins. Sin separates us from the holiness and the glory of God. We cannot see the face of God unless we see it through the lens of the cross of His sacrifice. If we have truly seen the suffering and sacrifice of Christ, we will not continue to do the very evil that He died to redeem us from. Ephesians 2:8-10 says: By grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.  We do not receive or earn our salvation by our own works, but rather by trusting in God’s grace. God’s grace that we receive though results in and is revealed by our works; by our  walking in the good works He has prepared us for. Hebrews 4:14-16 says: Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let’s hold firmly to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let’s approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help at the time of our need.  Since we have seen Christ on the cross and known His sacrifice on our behalf, by grace we can see the face of God in heaven. When we receive His mercy and grace, there at His throne, then we can be those who with confidence are the answer to the prayer Jesus taught us, saying: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. We can be those who seeking first the kingdom of heaven,  connect the realities of the kingdom of heaven with the circumstances and situations on earth.

The Lord is my shepherd, I will not be in need. (of anything) He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; (May I prosper in all things as my soul prospers.) He guides me in the paths of righteousness For the sake of His name.(May I walk in the good works you have prepared for me and prepared me for, by grace.) Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. (By grace You have filled me with Your Spirit. May it also be Your Spirit that overflows from me.)  Certainly goodness and faithfulness will follow me all the days of my life, And my dwelling will be in the house of the Lord forever. (May Your kingdom come and Your will be done, in and through my life.) Amen.