The Elder, to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 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. (3 John 1:1-4)
How To Have A Prosperous Year
John had many things he wanted to write to Gaius and to the brethren. He chose rather to send a quick note and then plan to see them shortly face to face. Contained with the short prose less than three hundred words the apostle outlines a powerful message of encouragement. As the year begins to fade to history and the resolutions of a brighter year appear John offers three plans for success for the child of God.
EXERCISE THE SOUL. John expresses love for Gaius that he would be find prosperity in life. This is a common desire for all men and for the Christian it comes from the blessings of a benevolent Father. Jesus taught His disciples to pray for their daily bread. A prosperous year includes the bounty of physical blessings. Far more reaching than the gifts in this world John desires for Gaius to prosper in his soul. All the blessings of this world will fade and pass away. The exercise of the soul is eternal. Like the body which needs the nutrients to give good health, the inner man needs a daily dose of spiritual vitamins to maintain a good spiritual body. If breakfast is the most important meal of the day a fresh start of heavenly manna in the morning will make the day go better. Exercise the soul throughout the day with prayer, meditation of the word and glorify God. Let each day be a time of soul searching, soul feeding, and quality exercise of the inner man in Jesus Christ.
LIVE FOR TRUTH. This is the practical application of exercising the soul. The brethren had spoken of the truth that was in Gaius. His example was one of faith. What a wonderful thing to say about another person. One could only wish to know more about the life of Gaius causing others to speak so highly of him. The litmus test is what others say about our lives. When our name is included in a conversation, what do they say about us? Our life must be the image of God. Looking like the Father is bearing the image of His Son. Our attitudes reflect the kind of person we are. As this new year unfolds resolve to live each day with the light of God. Live for truth every day. Faith comes from hearing the word of God. Living for truth grows from the meditation of God’s word. Pray that when a testimony is given of our character they speak of our faith.
WALK IN TRUTH. Living for the truth is a manner of conduct others see in us. They know by the way we talk we live for Christ. Our speech seasoned with salt will show others that Christ lives in us. The kind of clothing we wear (or lack thereof) tells people where our heart is. Walking in truth is a daily activity of showing others the love of God. There is no greater joy than to hear of Christians who walk in truth. This is a habitual pattern of life. A new year is an opportunity to resolve that good habits of Bible study, prayer, encouragement of others be a pattern of life. Walk the walk of righteousness. Walk in truth.
A three point plan: exercise the soul, live for truth and walk in truth. When the new year draws to a close you will be amazed at the growth in your life. So will others!
A good example is the best sermon. (Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732)