ODJ: two things we need

August 11, 2015 

READ: 3 John 1:1-15 

We ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth (v.8).

Fire requires oxygen and fuel in tandem to keep burning—something that’s important to know in my part of the world when winter snowstorms come calling! If you don’t have enough oxygen flowing to the logs you’ve set ablaze, the fire will die down. And if you run out of wood, you’ll soon be trying to warm your hands over cooling ashes!

The apostle John, now an old man probably writing from Ephesus, wanted to encourage his friend Gaius to keep true faith in Christ burning brightly in his heart and the hearts of those in his church (3 John 1:1,4). So he wrote a letter that referenced the great importance of two things—the teaching of the true gospel and the importance of fellowship. Without those things, Gaius’ church would be doomed to experience the cold ashes of dead faith.

John was pleased that his friend was “living according to the truth” (v.3). What’s more, Gaius and the fellow believers in his church had warmly received travelling teachers—likely John’s emissaries—who were instructing them in the truth. One man, Diotrephes, was not welcoming the travelling teachers because of his desire to be in control. John condemned the power-hungry, unrighteous leader and lifted up another, Demetrius, as an example of one who “does the truth itself” (v.12).

Beyond the teaching of God’s pure gospel, the apostle celebrated how Gaius and other true believers were providing fellowship—“loving friendship”—for visiting teachers. He knew how important it was for believers to share God’s love and truth “face to face” (v.14).

Is your local church aglow with the teaching of God’s truth and the warmth of genuine fellowship? God provides the fuel to keep us pursuing them!

—Tom Felten

365-day-plan: Luke 13:22-35

Read 1 John 1:3 and consider how the proclaiming of God’s truth and fellowship in Jesus fit together. 
Why is it vital to be part of a local church that teaches the truths of God’s Word? How does fellowship help believers in Jesus to grow and glow in their faith?