John – God and Love
How will others know God who have never experienced His love? How will they get a glimpse of His glory and authentic grace upon grace? How will they know the Truth of the depth of His love that knows no limits? Words alone will not tell them of the depths of God’s love. John tells us to “model the good”. Who is the model? Jesus Christs, the One and Only Son of God who laid down His perfect life so that we are free to love, like God loves, with no limits or conditions.
We love because He first loved us. John through Jesus taught us that tenaciously. When we lay down our own desires and control of our time to help another person in need we are “modeling the good”. We are also loving God back when we do these acts of selfless love. “When you do it to the least of these by brothers and sisters, you are doing it for Me”, says Jesus. (Matthew 25:40) This is tenaciously and persistently living the Truth of God’s love. Love God. Love Others like He loves us. Revolutionary and bears repeating. Every. Day.
Our last segment of John’s letters…
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.
Think about it …
John, the beloved disciple of Jesus, is modeling the good while show and telling others how to model the good. As believers, it is up to us to show the love of God in tangible, touchable ways to anyone God puts in our line of vision. Ask God for help in seeing the lost, broken, hurting and needy. He will provide ways for us to love by helping. When we do we “model the good” expressed by Jesus Christ. Bonus? We are loving God back when we love each other.
FLASHBACK to Matthew 25, The Message
31-33 “When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.
34-36 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’
37-40 “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’
Dear Heavenly Father,
Open our eyes to the hurting and helpless who think there is no hope. Use us to love you back by loving on them. Provide ways for us to love well, to love strong and appropriately with no strings attached for ourselves. Help us to live Your Truth persistently and tenaciously every day of our lives here while we wait for you to return.
In Jesus Name, Amen