Imitate good, resist evil!

Scripture reading for December 7th: 3rd John 1-15

John’s third letter is the shortest book of the New Testament.  John writes this letter to a friend, Gaius, whom he loves.  John wants to encourage him in his walk with the Lord and warn him concerning an individual who is disrupting the church.

“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.  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 that to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (3rd John 2-4)  John’s personal greeting and short prayer for him showed John’s faith in God’s will for each believer.  God wants us well and living in a state of wholeness.  This is most often a fruit of walking in faith in God’s truth.  John was filled with joy at a good report from a church where he had pastored.  We know that faith and walking in truth always pleases God as well!  (Hebrews 11:6)

“Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you.  They have told the church about your love.  You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God.  It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans.  We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.” John writes to encourage Gaius about his hospitality.  He evidently had hosted brothers and provided for their needs.  John says that this is the right thing to do.

“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)   John encouraged Gaius to imitate the good, not those who were evil.  Selfishness works division and strife in a church that must be dealt with by leadership.  Consider how to apply these scriptures today!

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