Posted: Monday, December 7
3 John 1:1-14
Verse of the day:
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 John 1:2)
It would be safe to say that a main theme of 3 John would be “friends”. Another would be “truth” but maybe another time. Six times in a book of only 14 verses, the word “friend” or “friends” is used. The letter is from John the elder, addressed to his “friend” Gaius. I think John’s letter gives us four things we should do for our friends. Here they are.
John starts off with these words - “To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.” We are to truly love others with the love of Christ. We are not to love with words only but with action. John talks of Gaius’ love for others in verses 5 and 6. He says of Gaius that he is faithful in what he is doing for the brothers. Show your friends you love them through your actions.
In verse 2 John says “Dear friend, I pray for you….” Aren’t you glad for friends that pray for you? Be that kind of friend too and lift up your friends in prayer. John prayed for Gaius that he would “enjoy good health and that all would go well with you”. That’s a good place to start as you begin to pray more for your friends.
Gaius was doing some good things “for the brothers” and John heard about it as did the Church. John encourages Gaius with a “Good Job!” and encourages him to continue to do what is good and right. We should encourage our friends also. In verse 12 John gives the example of Demetrius who like Gaius is doing things right.
In the first part of verse 11 John says this. “Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good.” John also gives an example of someone not doing good by the name of Diotrephes. John’s description of his behavior is a stark contrast to that of Gaius and Demetrius. This example serves as a transition from encouragement to warning.
Along with the example of Diotrephes the second part of verse 11 contains a warning. “Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.” Not only must we encourage our friends in doing right, we must discourage them and warn them of doing wrong.
So… if we really care about our friends, we will love them, pray for them, encourage them and warn them. Be a John, Gaius, Demetrius, kind of friend.