3 John

(1) John sent this third and final letter to his beloved friend Gaius.

(2-4) Beloved child, it is my will that you live with the blessing of my presence, and that you would have good health, physically and spiritually. I care about every part of you, body and soul. I celebrate when my children tune their lives to my truth.

(5-6) It shows great faith in me when you serve others well, giving from the fullness of my presence within you. When you sacrifice your comforts for people you may not even know, you reveal my love, which infuses others, energizing them to go forward with love.

(7-8) Your fellow brothers and sisters are on the mission of proclaiming my name all around the world. I want them to go with your support so that they do not need to depend on the mercy of those who do not yet know me. You may not be a professional missionary, but you are all involved in the same work. Offer them your support when you can.

(9-10) My beloved John mentioned a man named Diotrophes, whose actions were 180 degrees from the support and service John spoke about. He was self-centered and self-seeking, refusing to acknowledge John’s counsel. Such self-centeredness is “wicked nonsense” and is in direct opposition to my will. People like Diotrophes are still found in my churches. They refuse to welcome believers from other communities of faith. They even go so far as to kick people out of the church who want to practice this gracious welcome. Exclusion is not in line with my heart. It is important to confront, with love and truth, those who are promoting a way of life contrary to my will.

(11) Beloved, at each moment of the day, you have a choice: imitate evil or imitate good. You can seek goodness or sin, love or hate. Choose the good. When you seek goodness, truth, and beauty, you practice the love, which comes straight from my heart. When you practice evil, it tells me that you do not even know who I am.

(12) All over the world, my church testifies to truth and goodness; take time to listen to each other’s stories.

(13-14) Once again, John kept his words brief, preferring face-to-face communication. It is still the way to go.

(15) May my peace be upon you always. Share my peace with one another, for you are all a part of my body.