Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "When We All Get To Heaven"1 (Lyrics)
3 John 1:4 – I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. (NIV)
Recently, my grandson received a school report that both shocked and delighted his family. In it, his teacher stated that in his opinion, this child personifies Jesus' walk on earth. It seemed such an outrageous statement. The teacher went on to explain how his student not only works steadily, but also encourages his classmates and genuinely celebrates when others do well and receive praise. He's a shining light in the classroom.
Lest you think that I'm a doting, unrealistic grandparent, let me assure you that this boy is a completely normal 10-year-old, the middle child of a large, rambunctious family. As the middle child — not the oldest or the baby, not the showboat or the cute chatterbox — he might sometimes be overlooked.
But "the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth" (2 Chronicles 16:9a NKJV), as do the teacher's. He recognized goodness and pointed it out. Of course, we already knew that — but had we said it? It's so important to encourage one another.
The apostle John was delighted to receive good reports about new converts to the early church. He knew that they were happy being the people that God had created them to be. They, in turn, were making others happy. This made John happy. So he wrote and told them so.
This school report was cause for joy — generational joy. We know that our grandson is secure in his knowledge of God and of God's love for him. He knows Jesus. His parents know Jesus, his teacher knows Jesus. What could make our Father in heaven — and us – happier?
Sometimes, we take for granted the positive things in someone who is close to us. Sometimes, we see only the negatives. Let's not just look for the positives, but also let that person know that we've noticed. A little encouragement goes a long way. Like John in today's verse, let's celebrate the positives!
Prayer: Father, we thank You for our children and grandchildren. The best that we can pray for each of them is that they will know You and become who You created them to be — the best person any of us can be. May we each be a light for You, showing the way, leading others to You. Open our eyes, so that we can see You in others. Then, help us to say so. Help us to encourage one another. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.