3 John 1:5-12

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"Beloved, you are acting faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brethren, and especially when they are strangers; and they bear witness to your love before the church; and you will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. For they went out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support such men, that we may be fellow workers with the truth. I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, neither does he himself receive the brethren, and he forbids those who desire to do so, and puts them out of the church. Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen. God. Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself; and we also bear witness, and you know that our witness is true." 3 John 1:5-12

I would say the central theme in the books of 1 John, 2 John and now in 3 John have been how, as believers in Christ, we should show the love of God to the world in which we live. By doing so we are being obedient to God and we are showing non-believers what an awesome God we serve. In loving others unconditionally, we show them a God that loves them unconditionally.

In the passage of scripture above, John gives us some great examples of ways to show this love and also of things that we should not do as they get in the way of loving others and of loving God.

John speaks of a man named Diotrephes. Diotrephes caused great strife in his church as he would not receive or support traveling brothers and sisters in Christ. During this time in the early church, it was a very common practice to take in traveling preachers and missionaries, so for one in the church to refuse to do this would be very distressing.

Diotrephes' problem was that he wanted to always be first. And, it's hard to be first when we are caring for and supporting the work of others, isn't it? He wanted the glory... not to give it to others by supporting those traveling and sharing the Word of Christ. In his desire to be first, he would:

~ Refuse to receive or support traveling church leaders
~ Maliciously attack those church leaders, discrediting their character and ministry
~ Forbid people in the church from receiving or supporting any church leader, except himself by implication
~ Put people out of the church if they supported these church leaders

As Christians, we should run far away from these types of actions as it is the exact opposite of what God wants of us. Instead, we should always be supporting and receiving others into our homes. We should always support with our kind words instead of spreading malicious untruths.

In the last few verses of this passage of scripture, John gives us three principles to always remember in showing Christian hospitality:

~ Do not imitate what is evil but what is good
~ Always be teachable
~ Strive for consistency in your life

It can be so difficult to show Christian love and hospitality in the world we live in today. However, we must remember that this is what God calls us to do. He knows it is hard... He knows we are criticized... He knows it "interrupts" OUR plans. But, He helps us to make it easier.... He comforts us and helps us to put aside our hurt feelings when criticized... and He always has better plans than those we had that were "interrupted".


7 Thoughts Shared:

Cheryl said...

Melanie,

Great post! And, so very true!

Hope you had a great weekend!

And, have a great week!
Cheryl

LAURIE said...

good post today on hospitality. Something that I enjoy but am always looking to improve. Have a great Monday! -Laurie

Named Alicia said...

Amen! I love the last statement. His plans are always better than our "interrupted plans". Have a great day!

Angie said...

This was such a good post..."Always be teachable" is something I dealt with as a rebellious teen...then saw it rear it's ugly head in my own teen girls...it is something that can continue if we don't make every effort against it. I want a TEACHABLE heart towards Christ!
I loved this post!

Eyeglasses & Endzones said...

Always be teachable...really good. I am still learning that one myself. I am stubborn and I keep praying for God to allow my heart to be open to teachings and that I do not have all the answers. Thanks for the great post! Loved it!

Laurie Ann said...

You have such a way of teaching the truth in love. I am so glad you shared this with us. I especially loved:


~ Do not imitate what is evil but what is good
~ Always be teachable
~ Strive for consistency in your life


I will do this! Excellent call, Melanie, and such a great post!

MyJourneyBack said...

Melanie,
What a great post. Thanks for sharing these truths with us.
And thank you so much for coming by my blog and leaving such encouraging thoughts. I was really Blessed by yours and all the comments I received today. I was so worried that the truth of God's sovreignty would be lost in my long post. Thanks so much for encouraging me.
Many Blessings,
Sherry