3 John 1; Ezra 7-8; Psalm 94
Prosperity is a goal that many strive for. It is a theme of religious preachers and of secular politicians. It is, in fact, a worthy goal. It is not only a goal for us personally, but it is a hope we should wish for others. John prays for the prosperity of those he is writing to, but there is an important caveat. “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” (3 John 1:2) The key to John’s prosperity prayer is that it begins with soul prosperity. Soul prosperity begins with our relationship with God; it continues with our relationship with God; and it will go to the end of life based on our relationship with God. So much of what passes for prosperity today is focused on material things, even among those who claim prosperity from a spiritual perspective. Financial prosperity, while a good thing if used correctly, is not a blessing without soul prosperity. We look at a country with so many who have financial wealth without soul prosperity. They are selfish, indulging themselves while doing nothing to help others in need. While that is their right, it is also their wrong. Their focus on the material at the expense of the prosperity of their soul is destroying who they are as human beings. John’s prayer for the church keeps the focus in the right order. Our souls should prosper first. We need to develop our relationship with God as our most important priority. We should focus on our soul prosperity as the man in the parable focused on the pearl of great price. If we focus on financial prosperity, we may end up giving our soul away and what shall it prosper a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul. When we focus on our relationship with God, our soul will prosper. We may or may not gain fiscal prosperity; we may or may not gain good health; but our relationship with God will be strong. What could be any greater prosperity goal than that?
Lord, remind me that my relationship with You is the most important thing in my life. Help me to grow in Your grace and love and then share that with others. Remind me of others in need and let me find ways to use the financial prosperity you have already given to help others.