Pursuing Joy (3 John 1:4) - Radical

Pursuing Joy (3 John 1:4)

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
– 3 John 1:4

Yes, I can memorize this verse. This picture of joy that’s found in hearing that your children or hearing that other people that you love are walking in the truth. D.A. Carson has a great quote in his devotional on this verse saying, “In a world where many Christians derive their deepest joy from advancement, ease, promotions, financial security, good health, popularity, and a host of other things, it is delightful, not to say challenging, to hear an apostle testify that nothing stirs his joy more than to hear that his children are walking in line with the gospel. That tells us all we need to know of his heart and where we should find our pleasures too.”

3 John 1:4 Reminds Us of True Pleasure

Is this where you find your pleasure, in seeing other people whom you love, whether maybe your physical children if you have physical children or spiritual children, or just people around you that you’re sharing life with, is your great joy found in hearing, seeing them walk in the truth?

Oh, to live for this, not to live for the pleasures of this world, but to live for the pleasure of seeing people thrive in their relationship with God, to live for that, to find our deepest joy in this. God help us to live for this today. Help us to live for the people around us, to walk in the truth. Help us to spur them on towards you in every way we can. Lord, help us to pray toward that end. Help us to encourage them with your word toward that end in the spirit. God help us to build them up. God, we pray this for people all around us, in our homes, in our churches, people we are sharing life with, that you would help us to live so that they might walk in the truth, to give our lives toward that end, we pray.

This Verse Leads Us to Pray

God, we long to see people who don’t know you walking in the truth. Help us to live toward that end. For our co-workers, our neighbors to walk in the truth, to share the gospel with them toward that end, to point them to you. God, we pray this for people around the world. We pray this on behalf of people that don’t know your truth. We pray for the Northern Panjshir, people of Afghanistan, over 2.7 million of them, 0.01% Christian. God, we pray for the spread of the gospel to the Northern Panjshir that they might walk in the truth as a result of our praying and our giving and our living for the spread of the gospel to them and more and more unreached people in the world.

God, we pray that the fruit of our lives, the fruit of my life today, the fruit of the lives of each person who’s listening to this right now would be more people walking in the truth and that we would live for this joy, that we would find no greater joy than this. We would find our pleasure in hearing and seeing other people enjoy you. We pray this in Jesus’ name, according to 3 John 1:4. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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