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  • John, an apostle of the Lord, Jesus, to my dearly beloved friend and brother in Christ, Gaius.

    I pray for you daily, my beloved friend, for your prosperity in the Word of God and for your continued health. I rejoiced when I heard reports of of your hard work and dedication to the Lord, how your church is growing and your children are witnessing in their walks. I also heard you were in good health and this also gives me great joy.

    They told me you are not only a loving father to your children, but you also open your doors to comfort and care for pilgrims as they are passing through. They in turn have spread the word, not only of your hospitality, but of your kindness and compassion toward them, and your faith in the Lord. Because of your witness, they did not have to ask unbelievers for help. Your example of love in action is one for all of us to follow.

    I have also heard of how Diotrephes has turned away from the Lord and is making the church about worshiping him instead of worshiping God. If I am able to visit you, I will confront him and shame him in front of that congregation for the lies he has told concerning us and you, for the abuses he has done to the believers in his church, and for turning away those in need.

    But I hear Demetrius is following in your example. I have heard wonderful things about his congregation and him.

    I have so much more to say to you, Gaius, but but instead of putting pen to paper, I think I will wait until we are face to face and can rejoice together.

    Peace be with you, dearly beloved friend. All who are with me send their love, and please give our love to everyone in your congregation.

    Good things and bad things are happening.

    You know, it may seem strange that personal letters are included in the Bible. But there is a reason, if you think about it. It's all very personal.

    This is obviously a personal letter to a friend, a friend who is working very hard to establish a strong Christian presence in his community. Like anything new, the church is facing opposition from several directions. While the Romans are smart enough not to go after Christians actively, they still must keep quiet and not upset the neighbors. If they do, the neighbors could report them and then Rome would be forced to act.

    Gaius and Demetrius are obviously well aware of the situation, and conduct their affairs as they have been told by the apostle and by the Spirit. Diotrephes, not so much. So John realizes he must go to their city to straighten out the matter, or risk losing not only Diotrephes, but his entire congregation.

    You know, being a Christian is a lot like being in the military. You have your orders and follow them, and everything will work out fine. You don't, and the man in charge comes down to rain on your parade. I doubt Diotrephes was happy to see John when he got there.

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