The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. ~3 John 1:1
The entire epistle of 3 John is written to a man whose name means “lord.” I get the sense that his parents gave him such a name because they envisioned him having strong influence among people as he matured and became a man. This man’s name is Gaius. In the opening verses, John makes some very favorable statements about Gaius that are an inspiration for our life this morning.
We see that Gaius is prized.
John writes as a senior pastor of the church at Ephesus. The word “elder” describes the office of a pastor. It refers to the maturity of the man. Gaius was a great blessing to John and the church. John speaks of Gaius being well-beloved. This is a powerful phrase describing the deep affection that he had towards Gaius. He is more specific when he says, “Whom I love in the truth.” As we read further, we see that Gaius was one of John’s converts that was thriving spiritually. John said, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” As a pastor, the greatest delight in working with God’s people is seeing them growing in the Lord and faithfully serving Him.
We see Gaius and a prayer.
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” John saw the spiritual prosperity of Gaius. A prospering soul is one that is walking in the Spirit, living victoriously, witnessing fervently, giving cheerfully, praying earnestly, studious in the Word, and faithfully steadfast. John prayed that Gaius was healthy spiritually and physically. Physical and spiritual wellness is a good thing for everyone. We can do more for God when we are well than when we are sick. When you pray for others, be sure that you pray for their total well-being.
We see that Gaius was praised.
“For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.” Gaius had a good report among the brethren. First, he had a good report doctrinally. He was firm in his beliefs concerning the doctrines of Scripture. It grieves a pastor when someone in whom he has invested is “tripped up” by false teachers, faddish trends in Christianity, or foolish friendships. The big concern we must have is that we are the same and have not changed our position. Second, he had a good report about his conduct. The brethren were delighted that Gaius walked in the truth. He lived obediently to the Word of God. I believe that he was a prayer warrior. I believe that he was gracious in his giving. I believe that he was a strong witness. I believe that he had a tender heart and demonstrated contriteness when he was wrong. Are you praised by the brethren because of your life?
We see Gaius and his practice.
Gaius was commended for his charity and gracious hospitality to visiting brethren who came through the church. He received visiting preachers, pastors, and missionaries with open arms. He hosted meals and lodged them. He probably gave them money when they departed. He had a good report for taking care of God’s men. He sets for us a powerful example of extending gracious hospitality in caring for the brethren. Whenever we host guest preachers at our church, it is my desire that we are like Gaius in how we host them and take care of them. When we do so, we are “fellowhelpers to the truth.” Another way of saying this is, “We are laborers together in advancing the gospel.” Gaius exemplified love and, because of this, was greatly loved as well. Consider the example of Gaius and prosper in your love!
Have a spiritually-prosperous God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Ezekiel 43-45