In the Apostle John’s 3rd epistle, he commended Gaius for the love and kindness shown to traveling teachers. What was even more impressive was John heard about it from the teachers themselves. I’m sure Gaius didn’t do it for recognition. But being recognized does make a person feel good. Do others endorse your acts of love?
They have shared publicly with the congregation about the beautiful acts of love you have shown them. Now, if you would be so kind, send them on their way with a generous gift, in a manner that would honor God. 3 John 1:6 TPT
Let’s look at the context of the verse above. As men and women who ministered the gospel traveled through this town, they were accepted with great love.
Some of the traveling teachers recently returned and made me very happy by telling me about your faithfulness and that you are living according to the truth. 3 John 1:3
What made these acts of love unique? Those traveling through were unknown to the people helping them.
Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. 3 John 1:5
So John commended Gaius for the fine job he was doing. I’m sure he was feeding them and maybe even putting them up for the night. But, however, I was a little confused by his next statement in the latter part of our verse.
Now, if you would be so kind, send them on their way with a generous gift, in a manner that would honor God. 3 John 1:6
Acts of Love by Going the Second Mile
Now, wait a minute! If Gaius was that loving why would John have had to tell them to provide for these people? Then when I thought about it, I believe he was just building on what they were already doing. John went on in verse 7.
You see, it was their passion for the glory of the name of Christ that launched them out, and they’ve not accepted financial support from unbelievers. 3 John 1:7
Gaius was loving. But does love always think of the ongoing needs of others? The answer to that is no. I think what John was saying was you are doing a great job. And because you are so loving don’t forget to meet their needs for their journey. Supply them enough food and money to sustain them as they continue to do the work of the ministry.
A Lesson for Us
There is a lesson for us on both sides of the coin in this story. First when God speaks to you about giving to those in ministry look past the obvious. Ask God if or what you can do to supply for their second mile. Let your acts of love reflect God’s answer.
On the other side of the coin, if someone helps you or gives into your ministry. Accept it. But accept it humbly and graciously. Don’t ever take the attitude that you were entitled to it.
A related post to this point is It’s Good To Be Thankful And Satisfied With God’s Provisions.
Lord, sometimes I don’t think through to the ongoing needs of others, I need your encouraging help to nudge me to think in those terms.
Check out the book of 3 John.
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