A Pastor’s Greatest Joy, 3 Jn 4

What is a pastor’s greatest joy?  The pastor’s joy is found in:

Preaching Christ – Phil 1:12-18.  The opportunity to preach Christ is a great joy regardless of the response or the reaction.  It is a privilege to be used of God to preach to others about his Son. 

Seeing souls saved – 1 Thes 2:19-20.  It is even a greater joy to see people respond to the preaching of Christ by receiving him as their Savior.  And there is joy in heaven, too, Lk 15:7.

Finishing his course with joy – Acts 20:24.  Paul was nearing the end of his ministry and he wanted to finish with joy.  In 2 Tim 4:7, it appears that he did.  Pastor DeMichele’s goal is to “Finish.  Finish clean.  Finish with joy”.  This is certainly my desire, as well.  And as I am nearer to the finish now than when I began, I rejoice greatly at all the Lord has done through the years.

These all bring the pastor joy, I can tell you from experience.

But the pastor’s greatest joy is:

Hearing that his children walk in truth – 3 Jn 3-4, 2 Jn 4.  In 3 Jn 4, John wrote, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth”.  Imagine, of all the things that could bring John joy, his greatest joy was derived from hearing that his children walk in truth.  This, too, is my greatest joy.  

I love to preach and teach the truth.  Jesus said, “to those Jews which believed on him, if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”, Jn 8:31-32.  I want you to know the truth when I preach and teach.  But there’s more.

The truth that you learn and know needs to dwell in you, 2 Jn 2. That way it will be with you for ever.  The truth of God’s words needs to become and integral part of your life.  

But then you need to walk in that truth, 2 Jn 5-7.  And when the pastor sees you walking in truth and hears of you walking in truth, that is his greatest joy.  It is certainly mine.  Thank you for walking in the truth.  You have brought me my greatest joy.