SEP 4 / Sunday – Read 3 John 1:1-15
Overview: The shortest book in the Bible is really just a short letter…not much longer than an email. It’s a brief reminder of how John encourages his friend to live as a Christian.
05 / Mon – Letter to a friend | Read 3 John 1:1-15
Letter-writing has been around since the first pictographs or alphabets were invented. For hundreds of years, it was the primary way to let others know important information, like the news, business matters, the king’s edicts and messages to family and friends. This ‘book’ is actually a short letter John wrote to his dear friend, Gaius. What things does John say? Why do you think God had this personal letter included in the Bible? How does it fit the description in 2 Timothy 3:16?
06 / Tue – The importance of truth | Read 3 John 1:1-4
John found great joy in hearing his friend was being faithful to the truth. And he encouraged Gaius to continue. According to John 8:32, why is knowing the truth so important? What is the difference between knowing the truth and living the truth? Are you facing a confusing situation right now and you don’t know what to believe? Things are not always as they seem. Ask God to show you what is really going on. You can trust Him to reveal what you need to know.
07 / Wed – Hospitality to those you don’t know | Read 3 John 1:5-8
Next, John commended Gaius for his hospitality to some who were strangers to him, but who were also working to spread the truth about Jesus. Have you ever found yourself drawn to a person you had not met before and discovered they also followed Jesus? Have you ever been taken aback by someone who claims to be a Christian but doesn’t live as they ‘should’? It is important to remember that everyone has a backstory only God knows about. Offer grace.
08 / Thu – Don’t be like Diotrephes… | Read 3 John 1:9-11a
Diotrephes seems to have been a church leader where Gaius lived. What kind of leader was he? What was he doing wrong that John warned about? Do his actions sound familiar? Like current church leaders you have heard about? While it is tempting to critique those in leadership, further reflection may reveal your own tendancies. Read John’s advice in v. 11a about what to imitate. There’s value in recognizing someone’s shortcomings but use that to correct your own life.
09 / Fri – Be like Demetrius | Read 3 John 1:11-12
When you live a life of integrity, others will notice. That seems to be the case with Demetrius. He was well-spoken of by everyone who knew him. John points this out to Gaius and encourages him to imitate that kind of living. Do you know someone like Demetrius? What do people say about him or her? What do you think people say about you when you are not around? What would you like them to say?
10 / Sat – Face-to-face conversations | Read 3 John 1:13-15
John ends his letter to Gaius by saying he still has much to speak about but will wait until they are face to face. Do you enjoy talking with your friends in person more than just writing emails or texts? On the other hand, when you are upset, do you prefer to write your complaint rather than talk it over with that person? Jesus gave us a template for addressing conflicts in Matthew 18:15-17. At first, this might seem intimidating, but do you trust him enough to follow his instructions?