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THE GIFT OF HOSPITALITY

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

3 John 1 : 1-14

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. … do not imitate what is evil but what is good.” -3 John 4&11

The Word of God insists and encourages us to walk in truth. Walking in truth means walking with Christ. Those who walk with Christ produce the fruit of the Spirit.


2John & 3John give a different view of hospitality. In 2 John, the apostle forbids entertaining and offering hospitality to false teachers and those who deviate from the truth. 3 John admonishes the church in not giving hospitality to faithful servants of God. John got the message that some travelling missionaries endorsed by him were not accommodated by certain churches. So this epistle was written in order to remind them of this and to appreciate Gaius’ hospitality and his good works.

 


The good example of Gaius to follow:  Let us examine certain Scriptures that tell us how to treat servants of God:
 

  1. We should show hospitality to one another without grumbling (1 Peter 4:9).
     

  2. We should receive them in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints and assist them in whatever help they need (Romans 16:2).
     

  3. We must devote ourselves to the ministry of the saints (1 Cor. 16:15).
     

  4. Those who are taught the Word of God should share in all good things with him who teaches (Galatians 6:6).
     

  5. We should share in their distress, (Philippians 4:14) and help them who labor in the gospel (Philippians 4:3).

 


The bad example of Diotrephes to avoid:   Further in this chapter John writes about Diotrephes who did not receive those travelling missionaries but put them out of the church (3 John 1:10). Pride had taken precedence in his life; the self had got the better of him. John instructs us not to be like him by saying not to imitate what is evil, but what is good (3 John 1:11)This is a clear warning for us to be careful and to follow those whose words and actions which are in line with the gospel.


How is our approach to those who are working in His vineyard? How do we treat the servants of God/missionaries? Do we eagerly welcome them with a heart of love? It’s easy to have people who we know or whose company we enjoy in our homes, but hospitality should extend beyond a close circle of friends or acquaintances.  Let us ask God for a discerning spirit to recognize the genuine and as well as those who are like wolves in sheep’s clothing. Genuine Servants of the Gospel deserve our support, love, care and welcome in our churches and homes, in doing so we become fellow workers for the truth (3 John 1:8).


Dear Readers, if you are hospitable to the servants of God, do continue doing so as it is a wonderful spiritual gift and to those who are yet to practice it, remember there is a blessing in practicing hospitality- we too participate in the gospel work and promote God’s Kingdom work.


Thought for the Day:  

“Jesus didn’t run projects,

establish ministries or put on events. He ate meals.”

-Tim Chester

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