Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers. 3rd John 1:2
It has been said that "Life was easier when I was in 3rd grade." The reality of this life is that when we were in grade school the decisions that we had to make were seemingly so much easier than the ones we have to make today. Back in 3rd grade we debated what color socks to wear with our outfits; whether to bring lunch or to eat from the cafeteria; what was the best way to memorize the multiplication table; and whether we would beat the street light in the house. But now our considerations, questions, concerns, and decisions are so very important to our well-being. They have what is called sticking power, meaning that the effects of our decisions are more permanent than temporal. Our health, our finances, our spiritual growth, our relationships, and so many things are so important to our shaping of who we are even as it relates to God.
In 3rd John the reader is encouraged by the fact that above all things there is a seriously sincere hope that one prospers, is in (good) health, and has depth to their soul. Since leaving 3rd grade many of us have had to ask the question, 'what does it mean to prosper?' A form of the word 'prosper' appears over 80 times within the old and new testaments. The most common form of prosper means to make an advance, make progress, succeed, and to be profitable. What you have to understand is that prosperity is a blessing from the Lord when God's people follow God's ways. Oftentimes, I have to remind myself that God decidedly does not bless mess. Psalm 1:3 says, Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked nor stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
Even as early on as Proverbs, we are taught that the blessings of the Lord brings wealth, and God adds no trouble to it (Proverbs 10:22). You ought to know that God's will for your life is to prosper. Prosperity does not just mean financial riches, for in fact that would be a very narrow view of the concept. But prosperity, as related in 3 John, is a form of the Greek word "euodoo" which means to have a successful journey through your life. What that means is that even before your 3rd grade experience God was saying (and continues to say) that your journey is destined to be successful if you understand from whence success comes.
Not only are you to be prosperous, but 3rdJohn says that you shall be in good health even as your soul prospers. Those who are the called of Christ are required to love for Christ's sake. We are taught that soul prosperity is one of the greatest blessings on this side of heaven and that grace and health are rich companions to that prosperity. Time after time we may feel as if our rich souls are housed in weak bodies, but it is grace that keeps us each day. If I have learned anything since leaving 3rd
grade it is that God wants me to be healthy.
Honestly, I can admit to myself (and to you) that I have to lose some weight. Back in the day, I never worried about what I consumed, but as an adult, it is ever so important that I watch everything I eat. I must make very certain that my body receives the necessary amounts of rest and exercise if I want to be around to receive God's prosperity. The truth of the matter is that God wants to heal you, but God wants you to want to be healed. The same is true about your health. God wants you to be healthy, but God wants you to want to be healthy.
Today, I challenge you to think about the ways in which your life, health, and spirit can prosper. Think about the things that may serve as road blocks, detours, and flat out wrong way situations and remove them immediately. Above all things, God has a strong desire for you to prosper. God has a deep yearning that you, as God's child, will make it through any trial, tribulation, or test. Whatever it is that you need, you should remind yourself that God has got it.
Receive God's blessings in your day and whatever you do prosper, for this is the will of God for your life! Hit Reply and Respond to this email and let me know if this week's message was helpful to your current situation? Do you have a special prayer request? I'd love to see your face in the place at one of the following:
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Have a miraculous week,
The Reverend Dr. Glenn B. Dames, Jr