Tag: imitate good

Never put yourself first!

Scripture reading for November 27th:  3 John, Psalm 101-102, Proverbs 21

Key Scriptures:  3 John 9-11 “I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who like to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority.  So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us.  And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.  Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good.  Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.”  

John mentions by name a man who was causing trouble in the church.  Diotrephes was known for his self-centered attitude and failure to submit to those God had placed in authority in His Church.  John warned the believers not to imitate evil, but to imitate what was good.  This man had not seen God and was not doing good.   Even worse, he was in Christ’s church family and thought of himself as a believer:  he was deceived!

Faith Confession:  Lord, help me to practice good and avoid bad examples.  I will respect those You place in authority and show hospitality to the brothers and sisters, putting others before myself.

Psalm 101:2-3 “I will ponder the way that is blameless.  O when will You come to me?  I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.  I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.”  

 

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Imitate what is good!

Scripture reading for November 27th:  3rd John

It has been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Our lives as Christians are always examples to those close to us and in our sphere of influence.  We are teaching others by our example what following God looks like.  If you were to be prosecuted for following Jesus, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

“To my dear friend, Gaius, whom I love in the truth.  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 me of your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth.”  (3 John 2-3)  John wrote to an elder and personal friend to encourage him.  John had been encouraged and filled with joy to hear a good report of hospitality shown to preachers of the gospel by this elder.  He was setting a good example and was commended.

“I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, would 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.  Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good.”   (3 John 8-11)  In contrast to Gaius, Diotrephes was a bad example.  He was not showing hospitality and was tearing down the brotherhood and church unity through gossip.  He was an abusive church leader who needed to be exposed and corrected!  Bad examples often spread their evil!  Imitate what is good!

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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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Soul Prosperity!

Scripture reading for December 22nd: 3rd John

The shortest book of the New Testament was also written by John and addressed to his friend Gaius.  This pastor and apostle loved to encourage and correct his people, preparing them for the coming of the Lord.  He desired their prosperity and health in spirit, soul, and body.  He knew that the key to this health was a prospering soul that walked in love and truth, and he prayed accordingly.  (3 John 2)

John had great joy to hear of the faithfulness of Gaius to walk in the truth.  In fact, no greater joy could be found by him than to hear of his children in the faith walking in truth.  John encouraged Gaius to show hospitality to those who went out to preach the Gospel.  Hospitality is love in action toward those who love the truth.  It meets the needs that are there, providing what one has to be used to bless others.

Not everyone in the church was such a good example. “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 brothers.  He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.” (3rd John 9-10)   Pride and love of position blinds people to truth.  The devil can easily manipulate a prideful person because that was his own downfall!  John promised to call attention to his evil deeds when he came in person.  This person was also a leader in the church and was hindering the true work of God.  We must be discerning about the character of those who lead.  Those wanting to be first are not the ones to put in charge!

John closes with a commendation of Demetrius as a good example.  He encourages Gaius to imitate what was good, not the evil example of Diotrephes.  John would have much more to say in person when he came.  We are all examples of one sort or another.  Our lives and attitudes either reflect a relationship with Christ or we are living for the enemy of our soul.  These examples were found inside the early church and remind us today to examine our own witness.

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