3 John 1:2
Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.
Life may become a parable, if we will make it so. Our New Year's wishes or our longings and cravings after some earthly good may remind us of those higher blessings without which every living man is poor — those great gifts which are more precious than all the treasures of this world, and yet not beyond the reach of the poor outcast, who wanders over it without a home and without a friend.
I. Let me say, first, that when we talk of prosperity, every man, as its first condition, asks that he may be SAFE AND FREE. If I cannot sit at ease in my own home, if I dare not sleep without a guard at my chamber-door, if I crouch and watch in my lair, no man in his senses would think of calling me happy and prosperous. A kingdom would be a poor bribe for which to accept a life like that. Now we do but say the simple truth when we declare that the servant of God is the only safe man in the world. Others may have a bold step and a proud look; they may feel secure because they walk with the crowd, and may take the fool's course of living in the present, without care for the future; but there is no escape from the sweeping declarations of Scripture as to our death in sin and our life in Christ, no reversal of the sentence which leaves every impenitent, unsanctified man without hope.
II. Let me speak of another thing which enters largely into the common notion of prosperity — BODILY HEALTH AND EASE. Our common greetings take this direction. Ailments are a serious kind of drawback to men's happiness. Yet what a plague lieth on men's souls, and few apprehend the half of its malignity and danger!
III. Another element of prosperity is SUCCESS; advancement, I mean, as distinct from mere possession.
IV. One more particular I must mention, which most men deem a prime requisite for a prosperous or happy life — FRIENDS.
(J. H. Gurney, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.