Dear Friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit. 3 John 1:2
The three epistles of John are designated as Comfort and Counsel letters. 3 John is addressed to Gaius, a close friend of John the Elder, who provides shelter and food for the region’s traveling disciples. The Elder commends Gaius for taking care of others, who had no means to provide for themselves, yet they continued with their mission to spread the gospel. It is amazing when we read of biblical life and the struggles that disciples faced when witnessing to others. The conditions were harsh from inclement weather, the danger of bandits and wild animals, and overall weariness from traveling on foot. In spite of the lack of material goods or comfort, God had willing individuals to spread the message of Jesus and His great sacrifice for humankind.
As believers, what are we doing to take care of fellow believers? When we moved to Texas, I had been unemployed since the previous year due to my undiagnosed disability. We were in the financial struggle of our lives. Yet God used two of my very close friends to provide for our needs. Their faithfulness to God did not go unrecognized; they are truly blessed and highly favored for their obedience to God. We are not fulfilling our duty to God when we are stashing our resources. Lack of faith in God causes us to withhold and have lack of concern for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
I can attest that God has abundantly provided for our obedience to relocate. In four years, God has honored our sacrifice and opened the windows of heaven. My husband is taking early retirement in December, and I have been retired since 2017. Amidst our struggles, we have always shared with those in need. It is our love and trust in God that prompts us to be in sync with our spiritual duty to others. Loving and giving causes us to possess compassion. As a result, our hearts and minds are prepared to receive and obey the Holy Spirit.
I invite you to read 3 John-New Living Translation. The Elder provides a contrast in the two categories of believers that exist in the church. There is no gray area-either we are in sync with God or outside of the parameters that God has set for us. We are unable to define loving and giving according to “God knowing our circumstances.” It is a blessing to grow spiritually because we placed God and others first. Stand on the promises of God: Matthew 6; Malachi 3:6-12; Philippians 4:19.
We do not give to selfishly desire to receive; we give because we love God: God has proven that He is the ultimate in loving and giving.
“To be like Jesus, to be like Jesus, all I want is to be like him.”
Prayer for today: Dear God, Please give me the desire to use my resources to help those in need. Amen.
Sonya Johnson Ruiz