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Soul Prosperity

Are you as well off physically as you are spiritually?

“Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2).

The consistent message through out the Bible is that we are sinners and we need a transformed life. We cannot keep the Golden Rule, the Sermon on the Mount or any of the demands of a holy God. The Christian life begins with a confession of our failure to live up to God’s holy demands, and our personal trust in Jesus Christ. It takes a new birth to make us right with God.

The apostle John sent greetings to a faithful servant of Christ named Gaius. His wish is for Gaius’ outward prosperity to correspond to the condition of his soul. Verses 2-6 demonstrate that he was an outstanding man in his church.

How would you like for your pastor, family and friends to pray for you with that request? “Lord bless Will and prosper him that he will be in good health just as his soul prospers.

That would help us get our spiritual and personal priorities in the right order.

“Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.”

Gaius has a winsome witness in his community. The apostle could say, “I love in the truth.” He uses the word agapetos meaning  “one who is loved, beloved.” He is a divinely loved person. He occupied a position of responsibility and leadership in the local church. He also enjoys a close personal relationship as a Christian friend of the author. Perhaps John led him to Christ.

The author of this post-card epistle prays in a strong earnest desire for the prosperity of Gaius in all respects and the thought may well be of the public and social work of this faithful Christian. He includes a petition for Gaius’ personal health. It is a common greeting in ancient letters for the recipient to be in good health.

John prays that Gaius will “prosper,” literally “to have a good journey.” The idea includes success in business, happiness in personal relationships, prosperity in his transaction as a Christian.

John prays that God will prosper his friend Gaius in every area of his life and ministry even as he is spiritually prosperous.

Perhaps Gaius had a physical ailment or was in poor health and John was praying for restored health. “Lord make Gaius as healthy in his body as he is spiritually.” The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthian 4:16, “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day."

Gaius had a winsome testimony of God’s saving grace (3 John 3-4). People recognized him as how a Christian ought to live.

Gaius was a man of God’s Word because he “walked in truth” (v. 4). The truth was “in him” and he walked in obedience to God’s will. Living truth produces true living. Gaius meditated on God’s Word and allowed it to live “in him.”

The Spirit of God uses the Word of God to reveal the Son of God to enable us to obey the will of God. Gaius was that kind of spiritual man.

Gaius’ ministry honored God (vv. 5-8). He helped God’s servants who ministered the Word in practical ways. He opened his heart and home to the apostle and those who faithfully preached and taught the Scriptures.

We need more Gaius’ in our churches. I have been the recipient of Gaius’ hospitality on many occasions in Latin America’s humble homes. I, too, thank God for Gaius.

And this is my prayer for you Christian friend as you read this word of encouragement. May the Lord’s richest blessings be yours as you study His Word and serve Him with all your heart. May you prosper personally even as your soul prospers.

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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(c) 2006  Message by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

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