Wednesday, March 16, 2011

III John

"Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good.  Anyone who does what is good is from GOd.  Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God."  (III John 1:11)  The book of III John has no "3:16"

This third letter of John was written to Johns' friend Galus to thank Galus for the hospitality he had shown to missionaries.  Galus had welcomed these missionaries into his home, even though they were complete strangers.

John then writes about what is and is not appropriate behavior towards missionaries.  He writes about three men and each of their behaviors towards Christ's teachers.  Two of the men were generous, kind truth-seekers.  But, the third man was selfish, controlling, and full of pride. He misused his position in the church; this was not of God. This third man ,Diotrephes,  was named in this short letter from John to Galus;  imagine having your name forever written in God's Word - and, your name synonymous with how NOT to act!  The message of this letter was  to NOT behave the way this man did!

There is always pain and brokenness behind evil. Jesus can heal that brokenness if you invite Him to do so. Only He can understand our hurts and our suffering.  He died for our sins.  He also died for our shame, our addictions, our deepest hurts.  On the cross, He experienced betrayal, the deepest rejection, abuse.  People spat in His face, shouted racial slurs at Him, stripped Him of His clothes... He felt so abandoned... so alone... There were a few people at the foot of the cross who loved Him.  I'm sure they tried to comfort Him.  Did He hear them?  I hope so...

If you have any negative experience which is keeping you from doing good, give it to Him. "...We implore you on Christ's behalf:  Be reconciled to God. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God."  (II Corinthians 5: 20,21)

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