Keeping The Lord Our First Love …

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” (3 John 4)

Just hearing the word “children” helps to conjure up in our minds those who bear our family name and each of their personalities and even their potential in life. Watching children “grow in stature and wisdom and in favor with God!”

Seeing them grow in attitude, sincerity of heart, and developing a keen interest in the spiritual side of life will bring to the watchful parent or grandparent … a deep sense of gratitude for the direction they are focusing on!

In the same way, sadness when we watch children who are not spiritually minded try and manage their lives without God. For a young person to even attempt to live a good life without God’s Word, or association with His people … will bring tears to the eyes and pain to the heart of a parent, grandparent, or someone who strives to serve the Lord in their own life.

But the saddest picture to observe is when those who know better … don’t live as they should be living either! We have wept often over dear ones who have been seduced by the world and its ruler, Satan. Some we would have never thought would compromise with the world and sin.

Found in 3 John 4 is such a wonderful word picture which the apostle John by inspiration paints.

The graphic picture John shares is that of a good sense of pride that comes from both hearing about and seeing for himself … the faith in those he had been instrumental in their learning and obeying the truth! One of the deep treasures of our hearts is found in the many young people Lori and I had the opportunity to influence for their good through the years.

Happy tears when word arrives along the journey of life of different ones in that group who have grown up to be good parents themselves and leaders in the local congregation where they work and worship! When you have had the privilege to be a part of this process … well … those who have … know of the wonderful sense of joy that settles into your heart.

John uses words like “witnessed and testified, report, and bear record of” in this short but powerful letter. Collectively these terms speak of the way one lives his/her life to include words, actions, and thoughts. There are some we have known over the years who have failed to retain the Lord as their “first love” and it is always a painful reminder of just how strong the world can be.

Our chief adversary, Satan, would have all of us if he could to believe there is some sort of middle ground … a place of neutrality … in the battle for our souls! There is not such a place! Jesus Himself made this very point clearly in the recorded words of Matthew 12:30, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.”

The truth is all Christians are witnesses … either for the good or the bad! John is saying that each of us is engaged by our lives in helping the truth and the cause of Christ (3 John 8) or we are hindering it! Words to seriously consider!

As we see the closing of another year and chapter in our lives, it would be wise on our part to honestly examine our lives without trying to excuse or justify what we want or are doing! And begin making genuine plans today to be children of God who bring Him “joy by our walking in the truth.”

There is a battle going on at this very moment and the stakes are high … your soul and those you know and love. That battle is lost, or it is won in the secret places of our will before God who sees and hears all. The very real choice in keeping or losing our “first love” is found in the words of the Lord Himself, “No man can serve two masters …” (Matthew 6:24)

This my friends and brethren is the Great Divide in the life of each one of us! We can do better about being better in our love and commitment to the Lord.

Bill Fairchild, Jr.

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