Hosea 6:1-7:16; 3 John 1:1-4; Psalms 125:1-3; Proverbs 27:14
NT: “The elder: To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth. Dear friend, I pray that you are prospering in every way and are in good health, just as your whole life is going well. For I was very glad when fellow believers came and testified to your fidelity to the truth — how you are walking in truth. I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are walking in truth.” (3 John 1:1-4 CSB)
Where 1st John was written to the broader community of faith in Ephesus and 2nd John was written to a family of faith, 3rd John was written to a specific believer that John apparently knew very well. 3rd John, written to Gaius, deals with what a good witness for Christ looks like and what a bad witness for Christ looks like. To John’s delight, it was reported to him that Gaius was being a good witness for Christ.
In John’s greeting to Gaius, he prayed that Gaius was prospering in physical health, just as he was prospering in spiritual and emotional health. This particular translation uses the phrase ‘your whole life,’ but the Greek word there is psyche. Psyche is the soul, or that inner life force that animates the body. In John’s greeting, we see a couple of things: 1) our physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual selves are all tied together and affect each other, 2) when the core of our being is in health, it radiates out in health throughout our body instead of the other way around. Many people will take care of the physical body and pursue material possessions but find that their whole life (spirit, soul & body) is not healthy. Paul said that physical exercise is beneficial, but caring for our spiritual health is more beneficial. We should not neglect physical or soul health – but should put a priority on spiritual health, as it will bring health to our whole being.
The reason why Gaius was doing well spiritually was because he was being faithful to the truth. He not only believed the truth, he was actively walking in the truth and living out the gospel fully in his life. This caused him to be in health, and it also allowed his life to be an unquestioned witness for Christ – so much so, that fellow believers testified of his fidelity to John. May we all hold fast to the truth like Gaius so that we may be in health and good things can be testified of us as well.
Psalms: “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion. It cannot be shaken; it remains forever. The mountains surround Jerusalem and the Lord surrounds his people, both now and forever. The scepter of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, so that the righteous will not apply their hands to injustice.” (Psalms 125:1-3 CSB)
Jerusalem was built in a very unique geological location. Jerusalem was built on the top of a mountain that was surrounded by several other mountains – seven mountains in total. Those mountains helped to defend Jerusalem against invaders by serving as a natural barrier around the city. As pilgrims ascended to Jerusalem, they would see Jerusalem atop Mt Zion, surrounded by the other mountains.
The psalmist declared that those who trust in the Lord and remain faithful to the Lord’s word, will and ways are protected on every side – just like Jerusalem. When we keep fidelity to the Truth, our lives are built on the unshakable rock-solid foundation of God’s word. When we place our trust in the Lord instead of ourselves, we place our lives under the mighty hand of God and are protected from the wicked one.
Prayer: Lord, I thank you that as I maintain fidelity to the truth and keep my trust firmly planted in You, I will be in health, my life will prosper, and I will be protected by Your mighty hand. Help my life to be a good testimony of Your goodness and faithfulness as I walk faithfully in Your truth. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.