I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 4
Elsewhere, we’re told there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels over one sinner who repents (Luke 15:7 & 10). Here John tells us that his greatest joy is to hear people are continuing in their faith. While it’s good to be excited over people coming to faith, it’s also exciting to see people growing in their faith and walking in the truth.
In the parable of the sower we notice that there were four types of ground that the seed fell upon; the path, the rocky places, amongst the thorns, and on good soil. In three out of four places the seed came up. However, the seed that fell on rocky places and amongst the thorns didn’t continue. It’s only the seed which fell on the good soil that goes on to produce a crop (Mark 4:8).
It’s not enough to make a good start. If our lives are going to produce a “crop” we need to continue in the face of trouble and in the presence of “the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things” (Mark 4:19). In Jesus’ explanation of this parable, we find that in all four situations they “hear the word” but only the good soil accepts it or “embraces it” (The Message).
If we’re going to continue in our faith and bring great joy to others then we become like the good soil which embraces his word. We do this by learning more of God’s word and applying it to our lives.
So are we embracing God’s word or merely giving it mental assent?3 John