Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Healthy, Wealthy and Wise

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 2)
Here is the heart of God revealed in the prayer of the apostle John. God wants His people to be healthy, wealthy and wise.


HEALTHY. “I pray that you may … be in health.” Jesus came to remove our infirmities and bear our sicknesses (Isaiah 53:4; Matthew 8:16-17), and by His stripes—the penalty He suffered in our place — we are healed (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24). He did that so that we could be in health.

WEALTHY. “I pray that you may prosper in all things.” To prosper is to do well, to have success in whatever you do. In Deuteronomy 28:8, God gives this promise to all those who walk in His ways:
The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
For those who delight in His ways and continually meditate on His Word, He says,
He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
(Psalm 1:3)
Prosperity and wealth are not just about finances and success in material things, but they are included.
 
WISE. “Just as your soul prospers.” This is the true measure of prosperity. You may have a lot of money, and success in many things, but if you miss it here, you have missed it all. Jesus said, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). In God’s economy, as you prosper in your soul, that is how you will prosper in life.

In this letter, which the apostle John wrote to his disciple, Gaius, we see what soul prosperity looks like.
For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. (3 John 3-4)
Did you spot the key? Prosperity of soul is about walking in truth; that is, walking in the ways of God. It is walking in the wisdom and revelation of the Holy Spirit, as Paul prayed for the believers at Ephesus, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit and wisdom of revelation in the knowledge of Him” (Ephesians 1:17). Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

But John also speaks of another key in his letter.
Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers, who have borne witness of your love before the church. (3 John 5-6)
Prosperity of soul is about walking in love. Paul tells us that faith works “through love” (Galatians 5:6). Gaius believed the truth. He was “faithful” to it, or we might say that he was full of faith in it. Because he was full of faith in it, he lived it out, expressing it through love and hospitality. As John wrote in his first letter, “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:1 8).

This may come as a surprise, but God wants you to be healthy, wealth and wise; to walk in His ways, be set free by His truth and experience the flow of His love filling you up and blessing others. That’s why Jesus came.