“Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father” 2nd John 1:3-4 NKJV
Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is the Second and Third book of John, all the chapters (embedded below the image below for your convenience).
Some believe that 2nd and 3rd John were penned after the book of Revelations and that these are the last penned words of John.
Friday we read the last penned words of Paul – a letter to a young disciple, passing the mantle and imparting knowledge. Paul was often direct and to the point in his letters, but this one is full of love and supernatural power.
John is the beloved disciple, and the youngest. He was also the last to die, having survived being boiled in oil and sent to a prison island, Patmos – where he had the Revelations he wrote in the book of Revelations. John is the “beloved disciple”. His message is love, love, love and that the gospel IS LOVE. John’s last known penned letters are not written to a young disciple – nor is he passing a mantle. AND most surprisingly He is direct, to the point and very firm or hard on the reader! He seems a little frustrated that the “elect lady and her children” (meaning the church and the people who attend it) have taken the message of love and become tolerant of sin, humanism, pagans, the ways of the flesh, etc. And John sets the example of if you have to give a strong message, do it in genuine love. And to the Elder Gaius, He wrote with similar tone – and pointed direction in relations to very specific problems in the church.
The early church was struggling with the disciples being drawn away and enticed by the world as well as division in the church body – JUST LIKE TODAY. It would seem the enemy continues to use the same tactics – because sadly we humans keep falling for it.
Remember in the beginning of the year when we read about Moses and the children wandering the wilderness? The children were enticed by the idolatry of the world and they had bitter complaining that lead to divisions. This is not a new thing. When we read it, we thought: “oh well, I wouldn’t have been a wayward child. Not me. I would be smarter than that.” Yet every generation seems to have this problem.
And God sent prophets to warn them that he will judge them, and it will get bad so they should repent. Prophet after prophet – and judge after judge!! Yet they did not turn, they fell into the hard times and even then there were some who didn’t turn back to God and you and I were reading it dumbfounded by their pride and ignorance.
And now, here we are again. God has started to roll out the judgment on us all. If we are unrighteous, oppression and captivity like Babylon will come. If we are righteous, then when we are judged we will be counted as faithful and blessed even in captivity – like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
What a fitting ending to reading the Bible through in a Year, pointing out how God hasn’t changed, but he did change the way he held covenants with us and told us that in the future, he will change it again – but people haven’t changed and God still have to use extreme methods to get our attention as a whole and turn us back on the right path (oh wait, this plan left Revelations for last – stick with me for that, it is not as scary as people think).
Back to John – this was written during persecution, when instead of love and dying for one another, they were turning each other in to save their own lives. This is a concept that is getting very real, right now, in nations that never imagined it happening there. Canada, Australia, Israel and Germany – citizens are forfeiting freedom rights for lock-downs, travel bans and “show me your papers”. When we read the Old Testament we said: “we wouldn’t.” When we sat in history class and were taught the signs that lead up to the holocaust, we said: “We wouldn’t have let it happen!” Well, we have let them lock down Australia, and they’ve built the camps and have already started moving people around regardless of human rights. AND they have told us – but the popular news stations are not running the stories. We are guilty of not helping them! AND NOW, Canada, Israel and Germany are following suit. New York State is not far behind (I know, I am here – masked, in need of papers I do not have) – the whole USA is in danger and posting and fighting over augmented reality toys for Christmas on social media instead of waking up.
I also see you! The faithful readers – the likes, the frequent clicks from various countries. Although this blog has grown to the GLORY of GOD and has shared the gospel message of salvation with more and more countries… Our faithful reader from Kazakhstan and another from Pakistan haven’t been back since the nightmare in Iran. I notice. I see when you like daily and then do not. I follow your comments. I pray for all of you. How is it there? I am so very thankful for each of you that continue to like – in my mind you are not “liking” the post – but participating in a roll call saying “I am still here, still standing, still with access to the internet.”
It seems I am finishing the year with a heavy heart. I am going to change the format next year – I think we will do a read through of the New Testament but waiting on confirmation. I know it needs to be more about how and why we are “saved”, as well as the discipleship growth, study and learning. But we are the light in an ever darkening world and must shine THE WAY for the lost.
Oh wait – I was supposed to give you some insight on today’s reading…
2nd John – after the greetings we are told to walk in Christ’s commandments – walk in Love, which is not new – but John like to say one thing in another (like Jesus is the Word) so here he is saying LOVE and TRUTH are one and the same. Love is truth and truth is love. Ever wonder why relationships are so easily destroyed by infidelity, lies, manipulations and deception…. All works of the father of lies…. The worlds curse corrupted love – and now, by the time it has reached us, it is unrecognizable as truth. Even then, when John was writing truth was separated from love. Truth walks and it is time it walked right back into its self, LOVE.
Beware of Antichrist Deceivers is the rest of the book – which at this point we have all had first hand experiences with. The specific one, also one we have today is the one that says Jesus did not come in the flesh and is NOT the way the truth and the life. And today we have people like my biological sister saying there are many ways to get to a heaven and trying to be good isn’t even necessary.
From verse 7, I have watched people confuse it and think that everyone who can confess Jesus is saved and you are demonic if you don’t. But the demons also believe and tremble (remember that verse?). So, do not be deceived by preachers who confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, but are giving and teaching you a false doctrine. Read this book for yourselves. Read it and study it. Learn it. Memorize it.
3rd John – we have a problem in 3rd John with church elders. Gaius is generous and commended and Diotrephes seem to have fallen into a snare of false doctrine and Demetrius is good. These are leaders – this is NOT how we handle and talk about the people in the church, but how we handle the leadership of the church who is called to a higher standard.
In simplicity – be generous. The gold and silver are God’s, He said in Haggai 2:8. You cannot out give God. So give. Give Time to study and give time to service. Give finances. Give hospitality. Give the coat off your back if you have to! Be like Gaius. Giving is truth.
Now, Diotrephes, seems to be controlling. Maybe out of fear of the persecutions? Maybe to be protective? Maybe he was once hurt? Maybe offences came and set him off the path? Whatever it is, it caused him to be the opposite of generous. He controls who is part of the church and who is thrown out. Maybe he read Paul’s harsh letters and misunderstood them – as they are still being miss understood today and people are not forbearing with those who struggle. Whatever Diotrephes issues are – John very sternly addresses and anyone else in the future who acts like it:
“11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.”
Now be like a good Hebrew who read and studied Job and understand what GOOD is in this verse. God is good. Good is God. Yes, John is saying one thing is another again. It is in this understanding that we reach the profoundly simple and powerful truths of the scripture and the mysteries of God. It is in this that we grow in our relationship with God.
And finally Demetrius – He is good. John could have said these character traits are good and these are bad – so your leaders who do this follow and that don’t follow… but John is short and to the point. Be like Gaius in generosity and like Demetrius in good testimony and do not confuse evil with good like Diotrephes.
Farewell. And that is it. These books are short and not so sweet. They do contain gems as all scripture is profitable for growth – but they are also very specific. Do not fail to come back tomorrow, I promise Revelation will not be nearly as difficult as you think and the book says there is an added blessing for those who read it! Besides it will help you draw closer to God – which of course is our primary goal. Then we lead others to this relationship…
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
MEMORY WORK: This month we have another powerful verse – this one will give you peace that passes understanding as the world around us spins out of control we know our sovereign God still has a plan! We may not be able to comprehend, but hang in there His way is better!!
NIV – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.”
NLT – “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”
ESV – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.”
KJV – “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.”
NKJV – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.”
NAS – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.”
AMP – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.”
Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!
BIBLE READING: 2 and 3 John NKJV
Greeting the Elect Lady
1 The Elder,
To the [a]elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth, 2 because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever:
3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with [b]you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
Walk in Christ’s Commandments
4 I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father. 5 And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. 6 This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.
Beware of Antichrist Deceivers
7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that [c]we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.
9 Whoever [d]transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.
John’s Farewell Greeting
12 Having many things to write to you, I did not wish to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.
13 The children of your elect sister greet you. Amen.
Greeting to Gaius
1 The Elder,
To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth:
2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in [a]truth.
Gaius Commended for Generosity
5 Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren [b]and for strangers, 6 who have borne witness of your love before the church. If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well, 7 because they went forth for His name’s sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles. 8 We therefore ought to receive[c] such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth.
Diotrephes and Demetrius
9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. 10 Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating[d] against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.
11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, [e]but he who does evil has not seen God.
12 Demetrius has a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself. And we also [f]bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true.
13 I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink; 14 but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face.
Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.