1, 2, &3 John – God and Love
Our world seems pretty messed up these days. Selfishness abounds on the larger stage, on TV and social media and it also hits us at home, close up and personal. We are a messed up people. Where is Truth? Why can’t we all get along? We don’t know who the “lesser evil” is to vote for in local, state and national elections. Maybe, just maybe we are asking the wrong questions. The better question, the only one really to ask, is WHO is Truth?
When we come back to the Center of all creation we find Truth is in the Person of Jesus Christ who made a way for us to come back to God. Begin here. Too simple? Sorry, that’s just the way it is. Seek Truth and we will find Him. God promises we will find Him. He will personally show Truth to us when we ask. We will not only find Truth but we will know Truth. We will know God more because He is Truth and tenaciously begin our journey in Truth…modeling what is good, not evil. The world is running after what satisfies self, the sin of self problem that goes beyond our problems of prejudices of skin color, power, money, and rank in this world. The problem lies in Who do we trust, believe and follow and Who we model.
John’s last letter recorded to the flock of believers tells us to watch for evil, follow Truth persistently and MODEL good. It is amazing how God’s Word spoke volumes to our parents and grandparents and now speaks wisdom to us today, in this time, today, right now, in this very room of prayer.
3 John, The Message
1-4 The Pastor, to my good friend Gaius: How truly I love you! We’re the best of friends, and I pray for good fortune in everything you do, and for your good health—that your everyday affairs prosper, as well as your soul! I was most happy when some friends arrived and brought the news that you persist in following the way of Truth. Nothing could make me happier than getting reports that my children continue diligently in the way of Truth!
Model the Good
5-8 Dear friend, when you extend hospitality to Christian brothers and sisters, even when they are strangers, you make the faith visible. They’ve made a full report back to the church here, a message about your love. It’s good work you’re doing, helping these travelers on their way, hospitality worthy of God himself! They set out under the banner of the Name, and get no help from unbelievers. So they deserve any support we can give them. In providing meals and a bed, we become their companions in spreading the Truth.
9-10 Earlier I wrote something along this line to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves being in charge, denigrates my counsel. If I come, you can be sure I’ll hold him to account for spreading vicious rumors about us.
As if that weren’t bad enough, he not only refuses hospitality to traveling Christians but tries to stop others from welcoming them. Worse yet, instead of inviting them in he throws them out.
11 Friend, don’t go along with evil. Model the good. The person who does good does God’s work. The person who does evil falsifies God, doesn’t know the first thing about God.
12 Everyone has a good word for Demetrius—the Truth itself stands up for Demetrius! We concur, and you know we don’t hand out endorsements lightly.
13-14 I have a lot more things to tell you, but I’d rather not use pen and ink. I hope to be there soon in person and have a heart-to-heart talk.
Peace to you. The friends here say hello. Greet our friends there by name.
What do we learn?
–No matter what, tenaciously follow Truth. Follow Jesus.
–Model the good…God’s work.
–Throw out, run from, and go the other direction from all that is not Truth.
–Love God. Love others. Model hospitality. Model good.
–This means it is not about us. Lay down selfish, have my way thoughts. Jesus did. (Phil 2)
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for your words of encouragement this morning as we pray for those who got in the line of fire of evil and evil’s schemes to destroy because of the sin of selfishness, of wanting all for self, of doing anything to get it. Don’t let us fall for that in our homes, in our families, among our friends and neighbors. Help us instead to seek Truth, (You) and model what You taught us. We must not give up modeling the good so others might see You in us and look to You, Truth.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Selfishness abounds but Your Truth never changes. We pray for your help in modeling the good today and always as we follow Truth, following You. We repent of selfishness that leads to all the others problems we have in this world. I repent of my own selfishness. Help us to love You more and more and in turn love others by modeling the good You taught us by being more hospitable…being a difference for You because of You in us.
In Jesus Name, because He is Truth, and by His Power in us, Amen.