Daniel 8-10 3 John
“Nothing gives me greater joy than to hear that my children are following the way of truth.” (3 John 4 NCV)
The leader of a church that was close to the heart of John, he considered the followers of Christ in that church as his children in the faith, had let power get to his head. He’d started lying and doing evil things. He’d become controlling not just about who came into the church, but also who was friends with who. (v. 10) He’d even stopped listening to John. And so, John wrote to Gaius to get the message through to this church that they needed to love the brothers and sisters in Christ and continue following in the way of truth. He reminded Gaius of the joy that any parent: step, birth, adoptive, foster, or spiritual, feels when their children follow the truth and do the right thing.
Parents feel great joy when their children get along and work together in the ways of truth. As much as John may have been grieved by the actions of Diotrephes, he was encouraged by those who still followed God’s ways in the church. I know the strain on parents when children fight and squabble. I know the angst pastors feel when members of their church don’t get along. I can only imagine how much pain we cause God when we refuse to get along. We make wealth more important than fellow believers, or politics, or a host of other subjects. We would put down, even attack other believers to help us advance in these areas because our interests have become more important to us than God’s plans. Some, like Diotrephes, will use positions of power to control what others think or do. Then, when we’ve broken that connection with God by our own actions, we wonder why we don’t hear from Him. Maybe, God’s had to work around us because we weren’t listening when He did speak. God may seem far away from us at times. When that happens, we need to make sure that we’re open to hearing from Him – because He doesn’t move away from us. Our goal in life should be to follow the way of truth, God’s truth, and share His love and grace in the process.
Lord, keep me humble. Work in me so that I always remember my brothers and sisters in Christ. Teach me the way of truth and give me the strength to live in that way every day. Let all Your children work together for the sake of the kingdom.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.