Discover His heart: He opens doors of opportunity to partner with His servants
Having spent three months on a short-term mission’s assignment years ago, I understand the message of 3 John, as well as its significance. Traveling and living out of a suitcase becomes exhausting after a while, but the bright note in the experience is the kindness and fellowship of other believers. Several families along the way opened their homes and hearts to us, providing comfortable lodging, delicious meals, and precious friendship.
It was humbling to be on the receiving end of such kindness, and I will never forget their generosity and kindness to us. Like John in our reading today, I often pray that “all is well with them and that they are as healthy in body as they are strong in spirit.” (2)
3 John is a perfect counter to the unseemly hospitality given to false prophets mentioned in 2 John. Obviously, this is a personal letter from John to his gracious friend Gaius, and it’s significant that of all the individual letters John must have written to believers, God’s guidance in the formation of the Bible included this letter. Evidently, hospitality is important to the Lord. In fact, the Bible is filled from Genesis through the New Testament with examples of hospitality and the blessing that it brings to both the giver and the recipient. Jesus and Paul both addressed it. There’s something powerful in the act of opening one’s home or pocketbook to bless others, especially those who minister the gospel.
“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. They have told the church here of your loving friendship. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God. For they are traveling for the Lord, and they accept nothing from people who are not believers. So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth.” (5-8) There it is – the simple truth.
For me, the opportunity for fellowship with His servants seems blessing enough, but when we provide care, hospitality, and support for those who minister, we become partners in all that they do. We are partners – associates, cohorts, co-workers – with those we support, partners not only in the expenses of the mission but also in the profits. These are eternal profits that moths and rust cannot destroy. (Matthew 6:19) The benefits from these partnerships last forever.
Moving Forward: May a heart of hospitality invade my busy day, partnering with servants in their mission.
Tomorrow @ Deuteronomy 29-31