February 19, 2014
READ: 3 John 1:1-15
This letter is from John, the elder. I am writing to Gaius, my dear friend, whom I love in the truth (v.1).
I sat on the gift shop bench while my family looked for souvenirs. We had just finished climbing nearly 300 steps of spiral staircase to the top of a towering memorial. As I leaned against the wall, the display nearest me caught my attention. Filled with clear packages of coins and bills, it offered a selection of replicas of dated money no longer in circulation. One particular piece—the triangular two-bit—especially intrigued me. Similar only in colour to a current coin, I mused on its worthlessness in today’s market.
The temporary nature of this world serves only to highlight the elusive nature of the things we pursue (1 John 2:17). Things quickly become outdated or useless, and even money has a lifespan. Try as we might to make them last as long as possible, our possessions do not follow us from this life into the next.
Jesus admonished us to hold fast to the eternal when He said, “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20).
In 3 John 1:5-8 we see the apostle’s emphasis on caring Christian workers who were on the road and in need. In these verses we can once again see that the priority of heaven is people. Likewise, we see through John’s words that investing in the lives of others truly honours God and His truth (v.4).
Sometimes we need to be reminded: church buildings age, equipment goes awry, but people are the very heartbeat of God. As this passage shows us, investing in people isn’t easy and opposition may be fierce (vv.9-12). But the return is priceless (Proverbs 11:30). —Regina Franklin
Read 1 Corinthians 7:17-31 and consider how to balance the realities of life with a pursuit of eternity. How and when should we make changes to align our priorities?
In what areas of your life have you been focused too much on stuff and not on people? How can you learn to focus more on the needs of others?