It is good to sing thy praises
My faith looks up to thee
All the way my saviour leads me
Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly dove
Saviour, like a shepherd lead us
Take the name of Jesus with you
All praise and thanks to God
9 I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. 10 So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.
11 Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God. 12 Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself. We also add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true.
13 I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink. 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.
15 Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends, each by name.
People imitate the ones they admire. This is so easily seen in children.. But everyone does it.
This letter is written by John (the elder) to his beloved Gauis.
A leader in the church who showed hospitality to travelling preachers. This was not the usual practice in the area.
We don't know what Diotrophes position in the church was. But we know that he wielded power in the church. We do know this.
1. He put himself first
2. He didn't acknowledge the disciples
3. He rejected the authority of the apostle John.... Not sharing letters John sent to the church.
4. He talks wicked nonsense (gossip)
5. Refuses to welcome the brothers
6. Stops those who would do so and puts them out of the church
If Diotrophes was a part of Gauis' church it would have made things difficult. Even if he were part of another house church it would have been a sticky situation.
John promises to deal with this situation when he comes to see them.
Demetrius on the other hand gets praise. From people around him.
But only from people but from the truth itself.
Also from John himself.
What does it mean from the truth itself.?
--- the truth of the gospel is lived out in his life.
What a difference between these two men is startling. From me first to God first.
And so John says this. Do not imitate evil but imitate good.
Follow those who know God.
Whoever does good is from God, whoever does evil has not seen God.
There is a difference between knowing about God and actually knowing God.
Who do we imitate?
The obvious people? The power brokers?
Or do we imitate those of good testimony?
Demetrius pointed people to Christ in his actions. In our imitation of others... Do we do the same?
Do we worry about getting things our own way?
But we need God's help to imitate him properly. If we don't have his help it is too easy for us to want to do it our way. He has put his help within us.
We have his kingdom awaiting us. Do not fear you would t be first or that you will miss out on anything by imitating Christ. We already have all that we need or want. It is ours. Just imitate him.