3 John 1:2
Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.
I. WE WILL EXAMINE THE WORDS OF THE TEXT.
1. "I wish"; more correctly, "I pray." Prayer is a wish sanctified. Turn your wishes into prayers.
2. "That thou mayest prosper." We may ask for prosperity for our friends; especially if, like Gaius, they serve God and His cause with their substance.
3. "And be in health." This is necessary to the enjoyment of prosperity. What would all else be without it?
4. "Even as thy soul prospereth." We are startled at this wish: the spiritual health of Gaius is made the standard of his outward prosperity! Dare we pray thus for many of our friends? Dare we pray thus for ourselves? What would be the result if such a prayer were answered?
II. WE WILL MENTION THE SYMPTOMS OF ILL-HEALTH.
1. A low temperature. Lukewarmness is an ill sign. In business, such a man will make but little way; in religion, none at all.
2. A contracted heart. If we do not love the brethren, there is something wrong with us.
3. A failing appetite as to spiritual food.
4. A difficulty in breathing. When prayer is an irksome duty, everything is wrong with us.
5. A general lethargy: unwillingness for holy service, want of heart, etc.
6. An ungovernable craving for unhealthy things.
III. WE WILL SUGGEST MEANS OF RECOVERY.
1. Seek good food. Study the Word.
2. Breathe freely. Do not restrain prayer.
3. Exercise yourself unto godliness. Labour for God.
4. Return to your native air: breathe the atmosphere of Calvary.
5. Live by the sea. Dwell near to God's all-sufficiency.
6. If these things fail, here is an old prescription: "Carnis et Sanguinis Christi. This taken several times a day, in a draught of the tears of repentance, is a sure cure.
IV. WE WILL CONCLUDE WITH AN EXHORTATION.
1. Brother Christian, is it a small matter to be weak and feeble? Thou needest all thy vigour. Go to Calvary, and recruit thyself.
2. Sinner, thou art dead, but life and health are in Christ!
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.