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Acts of Kindness

John nails it, as always. John knows it is all about love. How many times does he remind me? Constantly.

  • How do I make faith visible? By loving the followers of Jesus, even if I don’t know them.
  • How am I doing on the kindness-meter? Perhaps I should do a daily assessment and track progress.

Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth. [1]

Source: 3 John 1:5-8

I need to find some followers of Jesus who need a meal and a place to stay. I need to be on the lookout for how I can grow in hospitality. I need to hold myself accountable. Here is a quick list of ideas:

  • How can I support missionaries?
  • Can I provide a place for missionaries to stay when are on R & R back home?
  • What about the student learning to preach the message of Jesus?
  • Can I pay for room and board for a student or put them up in my house?
  • Can I pay for the travel of a minister to special conference?
  • Can I provide a place for a minister to stay when they travel to my home town for a conference?

Gaius was a fellow helper to the truth. In practical ways, he assisted those who were ministering the Word. We have no indication that Gaius himself was a preacher or teacher, but he opened his heart and home to those who were.

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We have learned from John’s second letter the importance of Christian hospitality in that day. John warned “the elect lady” against entertaining false teachers (2 John 7–11), but in this letter he commended Gaius for showing hospitality to the true ministers of the Word. Gaius was an encouragement, not only to the brethren in general, but especially to “strangers” who came to fellowship with the church and to minister.

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In this day of fear and violence, it is not easy to welcome strangers into our homes. Of course, in the early church, traveling ministers carried letters of recommendation from their own assemblies; so it is important that we know something about the people we plan to entertain. However, it does take faith and love.

Gaius not only opened his home, but he also opened his heart and his hand to give financial help to his guests. The phrase bring forward on their journey means “to assist on their journey.” This could have included providing money and food as well as washing and mending clothing. After all, our faith must be proved by our works, and our love must be expressed by deeds, not just words.

What is the motivation for this kind of practical ministry to the saints? It honors God. The phrase after a godly sort in 3 John 6 means “worthy of God, as befits God.” We are never more “godlike” than when we are sacrificing to serve others. “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing” (Col. 1:10). Since these itinerant ministers were representing the name of the Master Jesus, any ministry to them was really a service to Jesus the Messiah.[2]

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (3 Jn 5–8). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[2] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 543). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.