June 29, 2015

2 John 1:4 It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.

The more I think about this verse the more I am struck by it. The word that jumps out at me is “some.” I would expect John to express joy if all of her children were walking in the truth, but he rejoices even over some. (Whether the “chosen lady” is an individual or a code word for a church is open to debate, but it seems evident that this is talking about more than just biological children.) Sometimes the sheer numbers of people who don’t walk in the truth as God has commanded can be overwhelming, but John chooses to rejoice over those who do. There’s a powerful lesson here. If we focus on the negatives we will lose sight of the power and grace of God, and will see the devil as bigger and stronger than he is. Right now the world is in quite a mess, and that mess has come home to America in a way and to a degree that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. The mess is not to be ignored, much less accepted as normal or right, but our focus needs to be on what God is doing. Sometimes things need to get dark for the light to be seen more clearly. Some people are waking up and discarding the compromises that have robbed them of fellowship with God and His children. Some people are taking stands and proclaiming God’s truth in love in the face of all the lies. Some people are living as the people of God, and that is reason to rejoice.

Just yesterday a fellow American Christian living in Japan sent us an email that said, simply, “I fear for your grandchildren.” Humanly speaking there’s plenty of reason for that. I earnestly desire that they fit in the category John was talking about, and I desire that they not have unnecessary trials and temptations. I can pray for them, but direct input into their lives is limited to say the least. My prayers for them should not be anxious, but rather filled with the assurance of knowing to Whom I am praying, trusting Him to take care of them. My concerns are certainly not limited to my biological descendants. Those in this church are at least to some degree my spiritual children, and I have many more who are geographically separated from us. I need to pray for all of them the same way I do for my biological children and grandchildren, not trusting them to do the right thing so much as I trust God to guide and protect them. I am to pray that their number increase, but I am not to be discouraged at how few they seem to be at this point. As I wrote my friend last night, God is still God, and He is faithful.

Father, thank You for this Word this morning. I needed it! I pray that You would help me see beyond the negatives that surround me and indeed rest, relax, and rejoice in You, allowing You to do through me all the good things that You have prepared in advance for me to do, (Ephesians 2:10) for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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