Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked so hard to achieve. Be diligent so that you receive your full reward. 2 John 1:8 (NLT)
On several occasions in my life God has used this verse as a timely encouragement to stay the course and press ahead into all He has for me. At those times I have taken it as a personal challenge from the Lord to hang in there and not let discouragement or disillusionment have their way. It has helped me appreciate all he has done in and through my life and enabled me to refocus on what is really important.
The sobering truth is that there are ways in which a person can lose what they and others “have worked so hard to achieve.” And that is the concern of the Apostle John in his writing to the unnamed lady and her children in his second epistle. This verse forms the heart of John’s message for them is also meant to be a word of encouragement to all of us.
Although our knowledge about this single parent mom and her family is somewhat limited, we do know that some of her children were believers and serving the Lord along side of her. (vs. 4) We also know that they had the gift of hospitality and used their home to host itinerating ministers of the gospel. In those days, traveling apostles, prophets, evangelists and teachers relied upon the graces of hospitable believers not only to provide food and shelter but also a meeting place for them to minister. There were no church buildings as there are now and the church met in homes where the body of believers gathered regularly for worship, prayer, teaching and fellowship. (Acts 2:42-47)
John’s instructions to this “chosen lady” as he refers to her, and her children warns about deceptive teachers and strongly urges them to be very discerning as to whom they bring into their home and allow to teach. (vs. 7 & 10) The explicit nature of John’s exhortation would lead us to believe that perhaps she, and one or more of her children, were also leaders in that house church that they hosted.