I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. (3John 4)
This has always been an extraordinary verse to me. On the surface it seems borderline blasphemous. Shouldn't any reference to great joy be associated with the eternal hope of seeing Jesus Christ face to face? For John to say that his greatest joy comes as a result of others' obedience seems misguided. But maybe the problem comes from a lack of understanding of the fullness of life with Christ. True relationship with him demands our lives be directed outward. It seems that much of our sanctification is not complete until our lives are being spent in such a way that others are influenced towards Him. John, then, is expressing the great joy that comes from mimicking Christ's example of discipling others. Perhaps our joy is incomplete until we experience the great delight of being used to shape somebody else's life.
This week at Ignite, Rich Thatcher will be speaking primarily on 2Timothy 2:2, which is one of the classic verses on discipleship:
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.
Rich will be sharing many principles and practicals on shaping lives (and being shaped) through a discipleship relationship. If my conclusion from 3John 4 is correct, then this is something that we need to understand. In order to experience great joy and the fullness of life with Christ, we need to be better equipped in this area.
So we hope you can make it. It could help to open up a whole new aspect of your relationship with Jesus.