Links Daily Devotional

Faithful Children

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. (3 John 4, NIV)

We would have a hard time finding passages in Scripture that come wrapped in more affection than the opening verses of John’s letter to his friend Gaius. The apostle prayed for the twin blessings of physical and spiritual health in his friend, and expressed real pleasure in hearing of Gaius’ ongoing development in the faith.

But why did this all hold special significance for John? In a word, it was because Gaius was John’s “child.”

We know this is not a biological relationship. Gaius’ Latin name, the fact that John calls him first “friend,” and the awareness that John groups Gaius with all his “children”—these are indicators that John is referring to a different kind of relationship, yet one that evokes the close connection of family.

You have probably known such relationships. You’ve been closely mentored by an older friend, or have closely mentored a younger one. You’ve been thought of as a daughter by one who is not your mother; you’re delighted to include another “son” among your own natural children. It’s the way of our hearts, and it appears to have been the way of John’s heart too.

Yet be aware of a big difference.

As a coach, for instance, I develop special relationships with my players. I like to see them play well, no matter their level. For one player, a score below 100 is reason to celebrate, for another it takes something close to par. Either way, we are happy together. But this is only golf.

What I really want to see develop in my players is their Christian character, as the Holy Spirit makes their faith more and more mature. What I really want to hear of my players—especially as they become my former players and move on into life—is that they are “walking in the truth.” This brings me matchless joy.

It may be a new thought for you, but consider this question: Who are your spiritual children? If you are mature in the faith, you should be establishing relationships that allow you to lead others new in their walk. You should be teaching them, training them, encouraging them, praying for them. And you should be positioned to take joy in seeing these “children” of yours hold fast to the faith and walk with Jesus.

Jeff Hopper
August 18, 2015
Copyright 2015 Links Players International
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