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Peter & John — 3 John

3 John 1:1-14 NIV
[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, 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.

Dear God, there are two people described in this letter: Gaius and Diotrephes. The first is someone who loves others and is the recipient of the letter itself. The second is a man who has put himself and his own ideals before everyone else and you.

As I typed that and thought about the two men, the phrase from that old spiritual song “We are One in the Spirit” came to mind: “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes, they’ll know we are Christians be our love.”

When I look at Jesus being asked what the greatest commandment is, he replied that we should love the Lord our God… and love our neighbor as ourself. When Paul talked about the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 13, he said that faith, hope and love are what remain, but the greatest of these is love. Later, when Paul talked about the Fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22, the first fruit he lists is love. Love, love, love.

I couple of weeks ago, I was praying to you and talking about a dilemma I was having. I wasn’t sure how to respond to a hurtful situation. The word I got back from you during that prayer was, “Love, love, and love.” I told that to my wife, and we looked for a way to reach out to the people in question with that in mind and I think (I hope) we found it. We haven’t heard anything back, and I guess I didn’t really expect to. But I am hopeful that those seeds of love that we tried to sow will find some fertile soil and be ready for the harvest one day.

Father, even now I have someone in whom I love, but I feel compelled to address something that they do that is offensive to me and likely a lot of others. They don’t realize they are doing it, and I hesitate to address it with them, but remaining silent in awkwardness only allows the problem to fester. I have purposed in my heart this morning that it needs to be addressed, but I pray right now that I will be able to do it in love. Even now, typing this, I can see that there might be haughtiness in my heart about this. I don’t wan there to be any. I just feel compelled to peel back a layer of deception that might be hurtful to some.. Anyway, help me to do everything I do today in love. Help me to be more like Gaius and reject the arrogance of Diotrephes. Help me be the kind of person to whom John would have written, and not the kind he had to confront.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2019 in 3 John, Peter and John, Uncategorized

 

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