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Volume 22 - Page 111 of 214 Index | Zoom | |
A great cause of rejoicing.
pp. 181, 182
If we were asked what constituted our greatest joy, what should we answer? Our
individual answers would probably reveal degrees of spiritual apprehension. One very
old saint has left on record what constituted his greatest joy, and we may profit by
"I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee,
even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk
in truth" (III John 3, 4).
Here is a ground of rejoicing, far removed from personal feelings or motives, that we
should do well to know. In his first epistle, it will be remembered, this same apostle had
much to say concerning those who say and those who walk (I John 1: 6-10). Further, he
"He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the
truth is not in him" (I John 2: 4).
"He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked"
(I John 2: 6).
John sums up his teaching in the words of I John 3: 18:--
"My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth."
He speaks scathingly of the boast of light that is accompanied by hatred of the
brethren (I John 2: 9). He tells his readers that the doing of righteousness is the finest
evidence that they are born of Him (I John 2: 29). He declares that all the boasted
possession of the love of God is nullified by lack of charity (I John 3: 17; 4: 20). He
had written telling them of the many antichrists and of the domination of the lie. In his
second epistle he said: "I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth"
(II John 4), and, as we have seen, in his third epistle he says that he has no greater joy
than to hear that his children walk in truth.
Some of us are apt to look around with the eyes of Elijah and say: "I only am left, and
they seek my life." The Apostle tells us to consider others better than ourselves, and if
there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, to reckon, or impute, these things. If we do
not rejoice greatly whenever we hear of the Lord's children putting into practice the
doctrine they have learned, we have missed a real cause of joy, and allowed one part of
our spiritual life to remain undeveloped. True joy is unselfish, and finds its cause in the
blessing of others.