I can relate to the Apostle John’s feelings toward some in the churches who received this letter we call Second John. He rejoiced that some of them were “walking in the truth.” That means they were living a life that was punctuated with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (The Fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23).
The second week of May, our presbytery gathered for its 141st stated meeting in Normal. When I greeted Pastor John Hopwood of Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria before the meeting began, I asked him about his visit to Trinity Church and Aledo back in mid-January. His face lighted up as he gushed about his time here at Trinity Church! He began heaping praises upon you and couldn’t seem to stop!
Here’s the contents of an email he sent to Trinity Church after he returned home:
“Trinity is a very impressive church. I know that the leadership is sound and the people are a reflection of solid, Biblical instruction. I have visited and preached in many churches throughout the years, and I must say that your church is off the charts friendly. We thoroughly enjoyed our Sunday time together. Because of my positive experience last Sunday, I am getting Pastor Greg Grindinger excited, as he will journey to Aledo soon. Thanks again. Blessings, John”
Pastor Hopwood was here because I was about two weeks into a pastoral Sabbatical and I had asked him to fill our pulpit one Sunday I was gone. I was so happy to receive such positive feedback from a valued brother in the pastoral ministry.
This feedback may already have made it to your ears, but even if it has, I wanted you to hear it again. You are a congregation who strives to live as the Bible teaches us to live. And other people notice! Like John the Apostle who was so happy to learn of some walking in the truth, so am I rejoicing over you and your walking in truth.
In fact, I am proud of you. Yes, most of the times that “proud” or “pride” is mentioned in
Scripture, it speaks of a bad thing. “Pride goes before a fall,” you know!
But, there are at least two times the word “proud” is used in Scripture, and it is referring to a positive outcome. Consider Romans 15:7 – “In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. And here in Philippians 2:16 – “holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.”
Suffice it to say, that was such good news to receive, I couldn’t help be proud of you.