Communication in our technology-saturated world is more accessible than it ever has been. It still astounds me that I can connect with nearly anyone around the world in mere seconds with a device that fits in the palm of my hand.

The presence of this type of universal and instant communication has moved us as a people into an entirely new human experience. For much of our history we’ve depended upon communication in person or in written form. This is the type of communication we see taking place in the Bible. We even see plenty of examples of letters in the New Testament written in response to news the apostles received about churches or other Christians, perhaps waiting weeks or months to hear such news. The epistle of 3 John is one such letter. It is here we find John’s words:

“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.”

(1 John 3-4)

The basis of John’s joy is the news that his children, those converted under his preaching of the gospel or entrusted to his care as a shepherd, are “walking in truth.” Here’s a challenge and encouragement from Charles Spurgeon in the Spurgeon Study Bible.

False Parental Priorities

“I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are walking in truth.”

It is grievous to see how some professing Christian parents find satisfaction when their children display cleverness in learning or sharpness in business, although they show no signs of a renewed nature. If they pass their exams with credit and promise to be well fitted for the world’s battle, their parents forget that a superior is calling, involving a higher crown, for which the child will need to be fitted by divine grace and armed with the whole armor of God. If our children lose the crown of life, it will be but a small consolation that they have won the laurels of literature or art.

Many who ought to know better think themselves superlatively blessed if their children become rich, marry well, strike out into profitable enterprises, or attain eminence in their profession. These parents will go to bed rejoicing and wake satisfied—though their boys are on the road to hell—if they are also making money. They have no greater joy than that their children are having their portion in this life and laying up treasure where rust corrupts it. Though neither their sons nor their daughters show any signs of the new birth, give no evidence of being rich toward God, manifest no traces of electing love, redeeming grace, or the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, yet the parents are content with their condition.

True Parental Priorities

I hope no parent will allow their children to grow up and leave their roof without knowing the doctrines of the gospel, the life of Christ, and the great precepts of Scripture—without having as clear an understanding as possible of the great principles and plan of salvation. It should be the holy ambition of every parent that his entire family should be renewed by the Holy Spirit. Happy as a marriage day is that day when a parent sees his child surrendered to the people of God, having first given his heart to Christ. The joy of the text is that the children “walk in the truth”—the actual demonstration of the power of the gospel in their lives. This proves that the teaching was well received, the feeling was not mere excitement, and the profession was not a falsehood but was done in truth.

The Spurgeon Study Bible

This is exactly the type of content you can expect from the Prince of Preachers’ study Bible. The Spurgeon Study Bible is full of notes, quotes, and illustrations pulled from Spurgeon’s sermons. This resource even includes photocopies of his handwritten notes! Check out this blog post to learn more about this resource or visit the store.

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