God’s Faithful Word of Love
3 John: The Third Letter of John was written by “the Elder” to a church leader named Gaius. The writer praises Gaius because of his help to other Christians, and warns against a man named Diotrephes. Christians are encouraged to support those who travel around sharing the good news.
Today's Scripture: 3 John 11b
Whoever does good belongs to God; whoever does what is bad has not seen God.
1 From the Elder—
To my dear Gaius, whom I truly love.
2My dear friend, I pray that everything may go well with you and that you may be in good health—as I know you are well in spirit.3I was so happy when some Christians arrived and told me how faithful you are to the truth—just as you always live in the truth.4Nothing makes me happier than to hear that my children live in the truth.
Gaius Is Praised
5My dear friend, you are so faithful in the work you do for other Christians, even when they are strangers.6They have spoken to the church here about your love. Please help them to continue their trip in a way that will please God.7For they set out on their trip in the service of Christ without accepting any help from unbelievers.8We Christians, then, must help these people, so that we may share in their work for the truth.
Diotrephes and Demetrius
9I wrote a short letter to the church; but Diotrephes, who likes to be their leader, will not pay any attention to what I say.10When I come, then, I will bring up everything he has done: the terrible things he says about us and the lies he tells! But that is not enough for him; he will not receive the Christians when they come, and even stops those who want to receive them and tries to drive them out of the church!
11My dear friend, do not imitate what is bad, but imitate what is good. Whoever does good belongs to God; whoever does what is bad has not seen God.
12Everyone speaks well of Demetrius; truth itself speaks well of him. And we add our testimony, and you know that what we say is true.
13I have so much to tell you, but I do not want to do it with pen and ink.14I hope to see you soon, and then we will talk personally.
15Peace be with you.
All your friends send greetings. Greet all our friends personally.
Based on this brief letter, how would you describe Gaius’ church? What kinds of problems was Diotrephes causing in his church? What problems have you observed when someone wants to be considered a leader but fails to exhibit strong leadership qualities? What qualities should a church leader possess?
Gracious God, bless all who lead your churches. Give them wisdom, confidence and humility, that they may lead your people according to your will. Amen.
Leviticus 19:1-18: God’s people are told to be holy.