4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. (3 John 4)
Through the Bible: 2 John, 3 John
My pick for “favorite Christmas present” this year goes to the Spurgeon Study Bible my wife got me. I’m not generally a fan of study Bibles in which all the notes and commentary come from just one person, and as with any study Bible, it’s crucial to differentiate the text “above the line” (God’s Word) from the text “below the line” (man’s commentary). That being said, if you are going to get all your commentary from one source, you could do a lot worse than Charles Spurgeon.
Here are Spurgeon’s notes on 3 John 4. Even though they were written over a hundred years ago (Spurgeon died in 1892), they are as timely for today’s parents as they were in Spurgeon’s generation:
It is grievous to see how some professing Christian parents are satisfied as long as their children display cleverness in learning or sharpness in business, though they show no signs of a renewed nature…Many who ought to know better think themselves superlatively blessed if their children become rich, marry well, strike out into profitable enterprises, or attain eminence in their profession.
On this day, while many of us have yet to take out the trash from Christmas morning—the wrapping paper, the gift boxes, the ribbons and bows that may still litter the floor, take time to reflect on what you are giving your children. What will last? What will they remember next year? What is preparing them for eternity?
I hope you have already committed to reading through the Bible again next year. And whether you are doing it for the second, or tenth, or twentieth time, I would encourage you to make the commitment not just because of what you can learn, but because of what you can pass on to your children. Again, quoting from Spurgeon’s notes:
I hope no parent will allow their children to grow up and leave their roof without knowing the doctrines of the gospel, the life of Christ, and the great precepts of Scripture—without having as clear an understanding as possible of the great principles and plan of salvation… Happy as a marriage day is that day when a parent sees his child surrendered to the people of God, having first given his heart to Christ.