The Blessings Of Honoring Christ
Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. - (3 John 2)
God’s kingdom agenda operates to bring His blessing to the institutions that follow it. In Deuteronomy 29:9, Moses told Israel, “Keep the words of this covenant to do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.” The Scripture is simply saying that if you do it God’s way, you’ll see the benefits.
America attempted to do this in its early days. The effort was flawed because of unbiblical slavery, but apart from slavery this country attempted to operate by a decentralized government. And we prospered like no country in the history of mankind, even though not everybody at the top was a Christian.
In 3 John 2, the apostle prays that Gaius would prosper “in all respects”just as he prospered in his spiritual life. John is saying the same thing. If you do things God’s way, benefit comes. And the benefit flows over into the family, the church, and the government.
This is how God’s kingdom operates: through decentralized, plural institutions, under His centralized leadership, in order to produce self-government under Him. By creating a system of checks and balances in all areas of life, we protect ourselves and each other from the temptation that brought Satan to his ultimate demise: pride. By holding each other accountable we are able to then experience and extend the blessings of God in our own lives and out to the lives of those around us as well.
God desires for each of us to live out the fullness of our personal destinies and, through that realization, to experience Him and to bring Him glory. He also desires for the institutions of the family, church, and civil government to experience these same blessings in producing fruit in line with Him and His Word. This is done through an honoring of His role as God and Ruler of all.
Reflection: Do you find yourself focusing more on the flaws and shortcomings of those in authority over you, or on their strengths? Take time to thank God for those who have been given the task of leading you, whether in the home, the workplace, the church, or the government. Ask God to give you wisdom as you offer leadership or advice to those God has placed in your life to receive it. (Remember that this includes younger men or women at church.)
I want to do things Your way, Lord. I really do. Sometimes that doesn’t always show up in my actions, but I pray that You will kindly keep me close to You each and every day that I might learn Your ways and follow them.