Our Happiest Experiences – II John 4

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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We usually think of the happiest experiences in life being our wedding day, the birth of a child, or maybe the day we retire. Among the happiest occasions for my wife and I have been returning to churches where we used to minister, finding many of the saints still faithfully walking with the Lord and serving Christ. In particular, when we returned after two decades to our first church, it was exciting to see some we led to Christ still actively functioning as productive members of the Body of Christ. We rejoiced for them, but we also rejoiced that our ministry had not been in vain. It was still bearing fruit.

The Apostle John expressed this same sentiment when he wrote: “I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father” (II John 4). The encouragement of faithful saints was so meaningful to John, and so important to the inspiring Holy Spirit, that this principle is again mentioned even more clearly. In III John 4, we read: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” John wasn’t the only one with a deep interest in whether or not those being ministered to were responsive and living what they had been taught by dedicated ministers of God’s Word. The prophet Isaiah recorded that he knew: “The Lord hath called me from the womb…And…made my mouth a sharp sword…And [God] said unto me, Thou art My servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified” (Isaiah 49:1-3). Yet, out of discouragement, because of the waywardness of those who heard him, Isaiah wrote: “Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought… my work with my God” (vs. 4). He was not only discouraged by how unfruitful his people had been, he appears to have been contemplating getting out of the ministry. Likewise, the Apostle Paul wrote saying: “I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain” (Galatians 4:11). He also urged the saints at Philippi to hold forth the Word of God “…that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain” (Philippians 2:16).

Beloved, those who minister to you usually do so with great dedication and often out of great sacrifice. Don’t allow yourself to be a discouragement to them. Let them know you appreciate their ministry and encourage them by being responsive to their teaching.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."