6 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Hosea 6:1–9:17
3 John 1:1-15
Psalm 126:1-6
Proverbs 29:12-14

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

3 John 4 (NLT): “I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.”

Reflections from Scripture:

In 3 John 4, the Apostle John is speaking affectionately of his paternal love for those under his care. Essentially, we are reading the words of a pastor overseeing his flock.

I’ve never seen any polls or data on what I’m about to say. So I can only state what I have personally observed.

It has been my observation that most men who go into the pastoral ministry do so because they love the Lord and want others to love and obey Him, too. Guys don’t generally go into the ministry if they are consumed with wealth or want a stress-free job. (Most pastors have to work a side job, and their lives are typically filled with unseen stress.) Instead, they simply want to share the relationship they have come to enjoy.

With that being the case, 3 John 4 should come as no surprise. Pastors can experience incredible happiness when they observe that those under their care are following the Lord. Pastors love it when they see folks in their congregations getting serious about following Jesus. They love it when marriages thrive, and children are raised in godly homes. They love seeing people grow in their usefulness to the Lord as they are a blessing to those around them.

Pastors love to know that their love for the Lord and His Word are positively, tangibly impacting those in their congregation. It gives the pastor a sense of purpose – that his life matters. And it brings great happiness to his heart.

3 John 4 (NLT): “I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.”

So, the next time you see your pastor, consider telling him how his job of “teaching the Word” (Acts 6:4) and “leading by example” (1 Peter 5:3) is having a specific, positive impact on your life and your family. Then, don’t be surprised if you see him smile.

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank You for pastors who take holiness and Your Word seriously. While I realize that they struggle with sin just like everyone else, help them to continue leading by word and example. And I pray that You would bless their ministry with folks who are being saved, and saved people who are growing in Christlikeness. Let them find happiness in knowing that You are using them to prepare others for the day when we all stand before You and are judged. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash