The Secret Prayer!

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:6

Have you ever prayed a secret prayer? Something that is only between you and God! It is one of the most fun things to do. The main thing that Jesus is addressing here is that all prayer should be between you and God and not to be seen by others. The verse directly preceding this one addresses that. If you only pray in order to be seen by others then you have already received what you were after. This is not to say that public prayer is wrong but God knows the heart and He knows if you are only praying publicly in churches and to be seen by others. We should all have secret times in our prayer closets or prayer chairs that are only for you and God. Then when asked to pray publicly you can come from a sincere heart, not just to be seen by people. 

I love a secret prayer that is just between me and God. The first thing to remember about a secret prayer is, of course, for you to pick a time and get alone with God. Just you and Him. Now it doesn’t have to be long, it can be a time in the middle of the day, but it is something you aren’t talking about to others, it’s something you are praying just between you and God! Then make sure that what you are praying for is within the parameters of His will. There are things I pray for that I know are in the will of God. The salvation of another person for example is in the will of God. But you do have to remember that God allows people to have free will in their choosing. But I can pray for God to bring people into the life of another person that will help to point them in the direction of salvation. God desires for that wayward child to come home to Him, but He allows them free will. But I can pray protection for that wayward child and for God to act on his/her behalf to point them in the right direction. 

I recently had something I felt led to pray for another individual. At the same time a church that I follow is having a 28 day challenge to pray for something at the same time every day. I set an alarm in my phone to stop what I was doing every day at the same time and to pray specifically for this thing. I did not tell even one person what I was going to be praying for, which is hard for me sometime, because I will pray for something but I am bad too to think that God may need my help in a matter. (Just kidding, I know He does not need my help but in the back of my mind if I announce it am I hoping someone will help my prayer along?!) But in this matter, I took the challenge, I set my alarm and every day it goes off to remind me to pray. And I told no one else what my prayer was. Now at times, I am in the middle of something and I can’t necessarily stop to pray, but I will hit that snooze button until I can stop and pray about the specific matter. It’s short and its a sweet time, but it is just between me and God. The most fun thing is when you begin to see God move and you know it is God who is answering on your behalf! Not something you tried to make happen in the physical realm but that you know God is moving in the spiritual realm for your request. Make no mistake there are times you need to call on every prayer warrior you have to storm the gates of heaven for you. But the secret prayers, the ones that are just between me and God, that’s when my intimacy with Him on a personal level grows! That’s when I begin to call him Abba, Daddy, because I know He hears me! Because my Daddy wants good things for me! 

Pray, Beg, Thanks ~ Peace!

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice, Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:4-7

Paul gets to write to us to tell us to rejoice because he was in a situation not many of us would be rejoicing about. Paul was under house arrest when he wrote this. Yet he is telling us that his joy and ours too is in Jesus! It’s not in the circumstances he was in. Boy don’t we all feel like we have been a little under house arrest this past year. One day I was having a big old pity party about the whole realm of this past year and I was whining to myself, “I miss plays, I miss sporting events, I miss visiting with friends and having friends over, I miss concerts!” Then all of a sudden it dawned on me, I really am not even a big concert girl, too many people and too loud most of the time. But I still miss the idea of them. But Paul is telling us to rejoice always while he is sitting under house arrest and not able to go anywhere. At least with us it’s the whole world that looks different. Pauls world was passing him by. 

The next line “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone” is translated in other versions “let your gentleness be known to all men”. The greek word here is epiekeia. This word can mean gentleness, patience, softness. He then follows that statement with “The Lord is at hand”. What I see Paul as saying here is how we handle our circumstances that we are in will show if the Lord is at hand in our lives or not. Me having a pity party was probably not a very Godly thing to do at the time. We are supposed to be rejoicing anyway, even if things don’t feel very joyful and be patient about the circumstances so that we can be a light in the circumstances or the pandemic or whatever is going on. Why? Because we live in the awareness of Jesus return and in the awareness of His presence in our everyday circumstances. 

“do not be anxious about anything” I have always loved this verse and it is one that gets quoted quite a bit in christian circles. But it is oh so hard at times. We live in an anxiety ridden world. For years I did not know what it was like to struggle with anxiety but the last few years brought it to the forefront of my mind. But Paul doesn’t say here, now try not to be anxious he plainly says “do not be anxious”. This is not an option! And now that Paul has told us to rejoice in our circumstances, to be patient and gentle and to be seen that way with all men and not to be anxious about anything, he will tell us how to be and to combat all of that. 

“but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” 

In everything – God doesn’t just tell us to don’t worry, be happy! The only way to combat the anxiety that comes from circumstances, the only way to be joyful even when the days, the months, the year doesn’t seem joyful and the only way to show ourselves gentle to the world is to bring it all to Him. In prayer ~ stay in communication. In supplication, the definition of supplication is the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly. Go ahead and ask him for what you want. And with thanksgiving ~ be grateful that you know that He hears you and that He is already working toward an answer for you. 

And what happens when we do these things, we will have the peace of God. So much peace that we won’t even understand why we feel the way we do and it will be a guard to our hearts and our minds. I have had it happen! I have had circumstances that I was in the middle of that I had no choice but to bring it to Him and lay them at His feet and I have had the most strange calm and peace over me in those circumstances that I knew it could only be from the Lord. 

So whatever is troubling you today, keep laying it at His feet. Keep in close communication with God over it, ask Him for resolution, beg Him if you need to, and be grateful that He is already working it out and then let Him show you His peace in it! 

Ask, Seek, Knock!

“And he said to them, ‘Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence (persistence) he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” Luke 11:5-10

Jesus was teaching his disciples further on prayer so he told this parable to them about the man who needed bread to feed a friend so he goes to another friends house at midnight to ask for bread. First of all, we need to picture the man’s house. It was not like our houses where children had their own rooms and you could wander the house at night without disturbing another soul. Their houses were usually one room. Yet this friend was bold enough to come to the house and knock and was persistent enough that he didn’t just go away when the man says “I can’t help you.” When you think on the scenario it puts another level to the persistence does it not? Jesus wants us to have that kind of boldness and persistence when we are bringing things to the Father. 

When I began praying for a job so that I could move to the lake I didn’t just throw it up there as a wish to move to the lake and leave the rest to God. I committed it to my prayer time. I would ask God over and over to show me the way to the job he had for me. Then I made it a point to look at websites of school districts regularly to see if there were any job openings. Then when I saw a job opening, I applied for it. I had used diligence and persistence, praying about it, and searching for it, I asked God to open doors if it was to happen. You want to know the cool thing? Within a week or so after I began praying, the place that I was working at the time hired a new person for our front desk. She and I became friends and started talking. Over time I shared with her that I wanted to move to the lake, (my husband had already moved and I was driving back and forth on the weekends). She had previously lived near where I wanted to go and still had connections in the very place that a job opened up and knew people to put in a good word to. I believe with my whole heart that God put her in place with me to get me where I wanted to go. The cherry on top of this story is that she found out that her husband was being transferred back to the same area within a week or so after I found my job. 

Let’s look at verses 9-10 again: 

“And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” Luke 11:9-10

I found this statement in commentary that bears repeating: 

“God often waits for our passionate persistence in prayer. It isn’t that God is reluctant and needs to be persuaded. Our persistence doesn’t change God; it changes us, developing in us a heart and passion for what God wants.”

The key here is in the seeking. God has often blessed me and answered my prayers with direction, like the way to a job. He has blessed me with things, like when I needed a car. He has blessed my family in ways that we don’t have time here to write. And there have also been prayers that I began praying that I had to let go of, But when I come to him persistently and I ask, and I seek, and I keep on knocking if it is not something for my good and His glory, He has also changed my heart in the matter until the answer was not near as important as the relationship that I was gaining from the asking and seeking. 

Come boldly friends, just like the friend banging on the door at midnight for bread. Ask Him, Seek Him. Keep knocking! If it is for your good and His glory, you will get the answer you seek and it may even be better than you could have imagined. 

The Model Prayer!

“Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.’ So He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: 

Our Father in heaven, 

Hallowed be Your name. 

Your kingdom come. 

Your will be done 

On earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us day by day our daily bread. 

And forgive us our sins, 

For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. 

And do not lead us into temptation. 

But deliver us from the evil one.’” Luke 11:1-4

This is the second recording in the gospels of this similar prayer and the circumstances surrounding both are different so it stands to reason that possibly this was two different instances. Jesus gave the same model for prayer twice. But it can also be noted that it was not identical which meant that maybe it is just a model. I love the Lord’s prayer which we quote many times from Matthew chapter 6. I think it is beautiful and I love to hear it quoted but it does appear that Jesus is saying, as he says in other places in scripture not to get caught up in the routine or the exact phrases. So let’s break it down as to what each line means to us when we pray. 

“Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” The first thing we should always remember and recognize is God’s holiness. We approach Him as Our Father with intimacy but we should always remember that He is in Heaven and His name is to be revered and praised. He is Holy, Almighty, Majestic, All Knowing, All Powerful, our All in All, The Great I AM! Whatever we are bringing to God, we must first remember His Holiness and that He is God and most importantly ~ We are not! 

“Your kingdom come, Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.” No matter what we are praying for, God’s ultimate will in the situation is the outcome to pray for. God will always have the outcome in mind that is best. It may not always feel like the best on this side of eternity, but we can be assured and know that it is the best outcome in light of His glory. I am not saying I do not pray for specific things, I do. But when you are praying for a specific outcome, you must also remember that His Will in the situation is the outcome we are truly looking for. 

“Give us day by day our daily bread.” It is so ok to ask God to meet our needs. God is our Father and He wants to meet the needs of His children. As we pray this prayer for our daily bread, we are asking God to meet our daily needs of food, clothing, a roof over our heads. 

“And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.” Just as important as our daily needs being met is, so is forgiveness for our soul. But this one comes with a little something more. We ask God to forgive us, and in turn, we are making a promise to forgive everyone indebted to us. OUCH! But Lord, does this really mean everyone? Even that person who hurt me so bad that I can’t even look at them without feeling the hurt all over again? Yes, even that one. And that one might be a process, that you have to ask God for help with. You may have to pray really hard for God to show you good things in another person to be able to forgive. Ask God to show you how He sees that person who has hurt you so. Forgiving other people is not an option and when we think of what Jesus did on the cross for us to receive His forgiveness, well then we know what it’s like to be forgiven, and we must show forgiveness. 

“And do not lead us into temptation. But deliver us from the evil one.” God will never lead us into sin. The word for temptation here is not a solicitation to evil, it literally means test. God will allow us to be tested in our faith. This line is a way of asking God for protection from the testing that will be too much for us. We are also asking God for protection from the evil one. We know that the devil is alive and well and prowling and seeking someone to devour. We should ask God for protection from him but in so doing we also need to be mindful of what we walking into. You can’t ask God for protection and then go right on in and put yourself in situations that you know will be tempting to you. The alcoholic does not need to hang out in bars. The one who is addicted to pornography should be extra careful about what they watch in movies and television. Satan never lays the big stuff in front of us first, he knows our weakness and just like in the garden he will start with your mind leading you to think just one little bite of the apple won’t hurt. We can ask God’s protection from the evil one, but we must also not set the apple in front of ourselves so that it is a temptation that becomes too hard to bear! 

This is a model prayer from Jesus and it really covers all of the bases of what we can do when we want to start a prayer life. But the most important thing is not the model. The most important thing is to pray. Just talk to Him. Remember His holiness, but you can bring your wants, your desires and your needs to Him. Also ask for His will to supersede any of our will and ask Him if your will does not line up with His to help you to change yours so that it does. He will do that too. Then also ask forgiveness, extend forgiveness and ask for protection and be sure that when you see yourself leaning toward that, that you know will be weakness for you, back up, guard your heart and ask His protection and for Him to lead you away from it. Praying is our means to build our relationship with God. The more you pray, the more you want to pray! 

Will not the Judge of all Earth Do Right?

My reading today started in Psalms. 7:1-9. David had been wronged and falsely accused yet he was putting his trust in God that He would deliver. In verse 8 David says “judge me, o Lord, according to my righteousness. David knew that God tests the heart and minds. (V 9) that God will judge justly even when it may feel like others do not. 

Matthew 7:24 – 8:22. The very first story in this passage talks about the wise man who built his house on the rock.  I have had times in my life that I was clinging to Gods word and building my foundation on the rock.  You know digging deep and thinking and praying and retaining what I read.  And I have had times that I was checking off that I read the words on the page and going about my business.  I can truly say that when I am digging and building my foundation on the rock that the things that the enemy throws at me do not penetrate me quite like they do when I have just checked it off.  If I am building my foundation I don’t worry as much (although I have already confessed this is a weakness), I don’t struggle as much with insecurity, disappointment and unfulfilled longings.  Life is still happening around me but I am more equipped to handle the trials and suffering going on in my life and around me.  Jesus gives me what I need to handle life.  Even when and if it seems unfair. 

Genesis 19:1-20:18

The first story in this passage gives me hope and confidence in my prayers.  Abraham asked God to spare Sodom for only 10 people.  God didn’t spare Sodom but he did spare Lot and his daughters.  And almost Lots wife.  She just couldn’t keep herself from looking back though.  I pray that when God sends me a rescue from my own stupidity that I will take it and not look back.  The other story is on Abraham giving his wife away and passing her off as his sister AGAIN!   It hit me how many times do I put myself in a position to re-learn what God has already taught me.  

Thank you Lord that You are my judge and that you “test the heart and mind” (Ps 7:9)

No Worries!

Reading: Genesis 16-18; Matthew 6

I trust the Lord.  I do!  Yet I find myself worrying. I worry about my kids. I worry about tomorrow and paying bills and how is Burr going to do in school this semester and will Jordan continue to have an easy pregnancy? How is Bens ministry? Will the baby be healthy?  But in Matthew it says can worry add a single hour to your life?  Instead I’m going to try to be more persistent in prayer. I find that when I bring my requests to God daily I live more peacefully. It also says do not worry about tomorrow each day has enough trouble of it’s own.  The theme today is my bible study is “is anything too hard for the Lord?”  Our job is to Resist Temptation, Live the Jesus lifestyle and Trust God. When God gives you clear direction He will act. God told Abraham 3 times that He would be the father of many nations (Gen. 15:4, 17:16, 18:10).  It’s all in the Lords timing.  Not ours.

I wrote the above paragraph 5 years ago. And yet, every question I was asking God at that time still holds true today, along with a few others. Have the worries over the past 5 years added anything to my life? No, I am sure they haven’t. I wish I could tell you I was persistent in prayer enough that I never worried. I still fall right back into that trap of worry. But I can tell you that when I practice my persistence, that I do sleep better, I do know that there is nothing that will happen to me and to my family that does not filter through His hands and He will carry us through. I know that I can fret and worry over the next thing that’s coming or I can pray about it, lay it down at the cross and walk into today knowing God’s got it. Whatever IT is today. God has it. I know, believe me I know, it sounds so simple on paper but when it comes to actually doing it, it is more of a challenge. And that is when I find a scripture or a prayer and I will take that with me through the day. And sometimes I just say “JESUS!” And that helps calm my worry. There have even been times, I felt I had to remind myself to breathe the worries were so big. When life gets you to that point, just say His name, over and over. Find that scripture that will bring you peace and comfort. You may have to remind yourself every minute, but friends if you are a child of God, He’s got you and whatever is worrying you right in the palm of His hand! 

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you nor of more value than they?” Matthew has 6:25-26

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

Mercy!

I have sat here this morning staring at the blank computer screen and wondered what to write. I finished with the letters of the new testament yesterday.  Since last June we have studied the letters of the new testament from Romans to Jude one chapter at a time. I am not sure just where we should go next. I have some thoughts swirling in my head. So this morning I went back and looked at some writing I did about 5 years ago. So I will pull from one of these for the next few days while the Lord gives me a plan. 

My reading on this day would have been in Genesis 13-15, Psalm 6 and Matthew 5. 

MERCY ~ in Psalms 6 David is crying out for mercy. In Matthew Jesus is telling us to pray for those who persecute us. In other words to extend mercy. And in Genesis God gives mercy to Abram. When you dig in, especially in the Old Testament you see that the heroes of the faith like Abram and Noah were just people.  They had high points – like Abram followed God even when he didn’t know where He was leading, like rescuing Lot, and there were low points. Abram gave his wife away to another man, then even after He believed God when he said your descendants will be more numerous than the stars, he ‘helped’ God with the plan by sleeping with his wife’s servant and having a child with her.  Yet Genesis 15:6 still says Abram believed the Lord and he credited it to him as righteousness. What is righteousness?  To be set right with God. We can never live ‘right’ enough. Yet God in his mercy declares us righteous through the blood of Jesus. We cry out for mercy. We extend mercy when we pray for those who persecute us. God gives us mercy through Jesus.

A Common Salvation!

Jude

This small book was written by Jude who was the brother of James, which meant he was also a half brother of Jesus yet look at how he identifies himself. 

“Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: May mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you.” Jude 1-2

Jude doesn’t speak on the authority of being Jesus half brother. Remember Jesus’ brothers did not truly believe He was who He said He was until after the resurrection. But Jude speaks as a servant of Jesus. He is writing this letter to fellow Christians and he is calling for them to have mercy, peace and love. But not just to have it but that it may be multiplied! 

Jude writes this letter as a warning to Christians of false teachers who were and really who will always be in their midst. 

“Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” Jude 3-4

Jude wanted to write about “our common salvation”. No matter what we have in common with other believers, no matter if you dress similarly or not, no matter if you like sports or music, no matter if you are an intellectual genius or just a simple minded woman, those of us who have this salvation in Jesus always have something in common. Sure we will always navigate to those who seem more like minded as us in common things. But we always share this in common this salvation with other believers. Jude wanted to write about salvation, however he felt it more necessary to encourage the believers to “contend for the faith”! Yes he says this faith was “once for all delivered”. This is his reference to the fact that Jesus died on the cross once and He won’t ever have to do that again for us. That is done! But it does not mean that we will not have to “contend for this faith”. What that means is that there will always be spiritual battles against our faith. Now I’m not wanting to find a devil behind every rock. But Peter warned about the devil prowling like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8) And Jude is warning here that there are people who “crept in unnoticed”. The devil is always going to creep in, or come in from the back door. He uses subtle ways to make us stumble and fall into traps and then; he roars. Just like a lion who is sneaking up on his prey. He sneaks in very quietly at first so as not to be seen coming. The devil takes down marriages by starting with simple flirtations. He entices into addictions by lying to us that we can handle it and it’s not harming anyone, it’s just a way to have fun. He will lure into pornography little by little, until the person who is so deep into it, can’t even get the images out of their head. Lifestyle sin never starts all at once, it always creeps in. Jude is telling Christians of his day and his words are scripture so that we can apply his warning to our own lives that it will creep in unnoticed and it will pervert the grace of God and it will ultimately deny Jesus. 

In verses 5 – 16, Jude gave various examples of scripture that shows how sin crept in to the lives of believers. It’s worth a read to see the history of it and to be warned for yourselves. But we are called to persevere. 

“But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, ‘in the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions’. It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.” Jude 17-19

Here it is again, the warning of the last days where there will be people looking down on Christianity (scoffers) and people will follow their own “ungodly passions”. Sound familiar? But Jude leaves us with some encouraging words and some instructions. 

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt’ save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” Jude 20-23

We as Christians are responsible for our own spiritual growth. We must be “building ourselves up” which simply put means studying for ourselves, and we pray to stay connected with God! Jesus has done the ultimate work on the cross, but we must do the day to day work to stay connected. I’ve often heard it said if I don’t feel close to God it is I who moved, not God. That  is truth. When life gets too busy for me to find time to sit down with my Father every day, then I notice a difference in my daily walk with Him as well. And we are also called to look out for our fellow Christians. I loved that analogy of “snatching them out of the fire”. Friends if you see your brothers and sisters in Christ starting that flirtation, or falling into any sin, you aren’t supposed to sit passively by. We are to snatch them right out of that fire. Don’t just say to them simple warnings, give them the big picture of what they are falling into. 

Jude leaves us with a prayer of praised! Read this slowly and give your praise to Jesus!  

“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” Jude 24-25

Imitate Good

3 John 

Again, the author of this letter identifies himself as elder and it is believed that John is the author. He is writing to someone named Gaius, it is unknown if Gaius is the same that is mentioned in other parts of the new testament, or if he is someone new altogether. But it is obviously someone that John thinks a lot of.

“The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth. Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in truth.” 3 John 1-4

Gaius is apparently someone that John had mentored and he looked on as a child to him. John prays for him, his health as well as his soul. He is rejoicing at the fact that Gaius is walking in the truth and it brings him great joy. Isn’t that the end goal of raising children? Sure it’s nice when our children grow up to be successful and to be doing well financially and in their lives. But the most important thing and the thing that will bring us true joy about raising our children is to point them to Jesus and to know that they are walking in the truth. 

John goes on to praise Gaius for his ministry. Apparently Gaius shows hospitality to his fellow Christians and to strangers that come his way. John may be talking about other ministers who travel through. Back in those days there were ministers who would travel around spreading the gospel and would look to churches for support. John did not want these ministers to look to non christians for support but felt that they should be supported by fellow christians. 

“Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.” 3 John 8

In much the same way we are to support our pastors and ministries with our tithes and offerings. 

John also speaks against those who want to put themselves on a pedestal. He calls someone by name, Diotrephes. 

“I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who like to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority.” 3 John 9

This is an indication to us all that there will always be some people in the church who do not have the gospel in mind, but want to put themselves first. John is warning that when he comes he will bring it all up to them. But he gives Gaius a warning in writing too. 

“Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.” 3 John 11

Well that is just putting it plainly. There will always be in our midst even in our church people who have their own agendas more than the agenda of God. If you feel a warning from the Holy Spirit, pay attention. Look at their actions, are they promoting evil or are they promoting good? 

In John’s final greeting to Gaius he lets Gaius know that he much prefers face to face meetings over writing letters. Another way we know that we are built for community. 

This is a short book but packed with some pretty good scripture. With that we will leave it with the final statement. 

“Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends, each by name.” 3 John 15