“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” - III John 1:4
For a parent there is nothing more important than the life, health, and above all the spiritual well-being of their children. No matter what else happens, if the kids are all right, we’re okay. If the kids are struggling, we are never at rest.
There is no greater pain than knowing that one of our children has turned their back on God and is spiritually lost or in danger. We cry ourselves to sleep in prayer when that happens, and sometimes it goes on for years.
The Apostle John wrote this letter of III John to a man named Gaius. So far as we know, Gaius was not John’s biological son; he was a spiritual son to him. John had either led Gaius to Christ or he had been Gaius’ pastor.
I remember the day when, years ago in another country, I overheard one person from the church explaining to a friend, “He has become like a spiritual father to us.”
It suddenly struck me that it was true; even though some of them were actually older than I was, I could feel it, too. To this day, my heart is thrilled with joy when I hear that one of those dear people is still walking faithfully with Jesus and I grieve for those few who don’t seem to be.
Are there people in your life for whom you have become a spiritual father or mother? Your own children, of course, if you have any. Are there others as well? Are there some who have been a spiritual father or mother to you?
If God has placed you into that spiritual parent role, embrace it. Take it seriously. Hold them up in prayer as you would your own children.
These are relationships that God has built into His Church. We are brothers and sisters to one another, and sometimes parents and children. God knows what He is doing. In His infinite wisdom He created the family at the beginning and with that same wisdom He has built family relationships into His Church.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for those who have been spiritual fathers and mothers to me. Thank You for those whom You have given to me as brothers, sisters, sons and daughters. Strengthen these bonds of love and unity as we lift each other up in prayer before you, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles