Sunday rest and reflection!

Scripture reading for December 21st: 3rd John

“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.” 3rd John 2

John opens his letter with a greeting to his personal friend, Gaius, and a short prayer for him.  Prayer should shape everything we do.  It is an act of love coming from a soul that is healthy and focused on God’s will and desire to love and bless others.  This short prayer reveals John’s heart for his friend and blesses him and us today, as well!

“It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth.  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3rd John 3-4

Our reputation gets around in the church.  If we are faithful and walk in the truth, everyone knows about it.  Faithfulness brings great joy to God and to those in authority in the church.  Those in authority have to give an account to the Lord for those they oversee.  (Hebrews 13:17)  When pastors talk to the Lord about those who are disobedient and unfaithful, it brings sorrow and painful intercession!  Gaius had been walking in the truth and blessing visiting missionaries by providing for their needs.  He demonstrated Christ’s love to those preaching the gospel and was commended!

“I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us.  So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us.  Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers.  He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.” (3rd John 9-10)

Diotrephes was one of those brothers that was causing pain to the Apostle and others in the body of Christ.  A bad reputation also spreads around and must be dealt with.  If the person will not change and repent after confrontation, others in the church must be warned so that they are not caught up in the sins.  This letter shows how John was doing this.  He wanted to come personally and deal with the situation, and would soon if he could.

This short letter shows us how our personal attitudes and actions affect others and are known in the body of Christ.  Leaders must have a good reputation.  When you love to be first like Diotrephes, this selfishness causes troubles and indicates that you are not from God.  (3rd John 11)  If you are a loving servant, like Gaius and Demetrius (3rd John 12), you show by your love that Christ’s love and truth is in you!  It’s pretty simple really!  There’s no greater joy for a pastor than to have God’s people walking in truth and love!

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