Thank You, God, for those You have placed in my life who have encouraged me in the faith.
Read 3 John
1 The elder,
To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. 3 It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
5 Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters,[a] even though they are strangers to you. 6 They have told the church about your love. Please send them on their way in a manner that honors God. 7 It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. 8 We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth.
9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. 10 So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.
11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. 12 Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone—and even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true.
13 I have much to write you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink. 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.
Peace to you. The friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name.
a 3 John 1:5 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family.
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectThink back to occasions when you have benefitted from the hospitality of others, particularly hospitality from Christian people.
This letter is more personal and more positive than yesterday’s. “The elder” (probably John the apostle again) is writing to Gaius, who is a good friend (1, 2, 5, 11), possibly even owing his conversion to John (4). Gaius would be an asset to any church. His great contribution was offering generous hospitality to travelling teacher-missionaries. This was essential then for a church’s well-being. For one thing, there was no New Testament in existence yet to provide teaching. For another, there were no decent B&Bs or inns where these itinerant teachers could stay. Gaius’ role therefore enabled his church and others to hear the truth (8). John has known of Gaius’ love and faithfulness to the truth, both first-hand and from the reports of others (4–6). It is good to commend Christian brothers and sisters who are doing well (3–5, 12). It strengthens them, and it teaches others what is good.
Diotrephes, however, was a nuisance. Self-promoting, he undermined the work of people like John and Gaius (9,10), even barring them from the church. Don’t imitate him or be intimidated by him, was the message from John. You carry on in the good you have been doing (11).
Some people find giving hospitality harder than others. Is there a way in which you, like Gaius, might help meet the hospitality needs of your church? Remember, hospitality begins in the heart.
Lord, may I pass onto others the kindness that I have received from You.