Summary: Sermon about the man called Gaius.
Gaius: 3 John 1-4
Sermon by: CH (CPT) Keith J. Andrews
Jay Leno once said that the Christmas tree is the perfect houseplant for him because it is already dead. And that’s probably true for many of us.
Growing house plants sometimes is hard work. Five years ago, when Monica and I got married, we brought home a Peace Lily from the wedding. We still have it. I asked Monica about it this week, and the plant is still alive. Peace Lilies are strong plants. Weeks would go by before we would water it, then I would see it wilting and turning brown. So I would go over and pour a cup of water on the soil. Then a couple of days later, the plant would spring back to life.
Many times we approach our Christian life in the some way. We throw an occasional cup of water on it until we feel better about ourselves.
Almost a year ago, I started taking care of that plant. I began to water it everyday. I actually considered repotting it. One day, for the first time since our wedding, I saw a flower.
That is the difference between a healthy plant and a just barely living plant. A healthy plant produces a flower. A healthy plant does what it is designed to do.
And a healthy spiritual walk also does what it is designed to do.
What about your spiritual walk? Is it healthy? Or is it just barely alive?
This evening, we are looking at a man named Gaius in 3 John Verses 1-4. John said that Gaius had a healthy faith. My prayer tonight is that we will see an example of a healthy faith and begin to grow through faithfulness and obedience.
Look with me at 3 John 1-4
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 truth. (3 Jn. 1-4, NKJV)
Let us pray
Gaius was a friend of John. John, the author of the Gospel of John, first, second, and third John, and the book of Revelation, was one of the twelve disciples. We know him as the “Disciple that Jesus Loved.”
John has some extraordinary words about Gaius.
John writes to Gaius in Verse 2
2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 Jn. 2, NKJV)
He hopes that Gaius’ body is as healthy as his spirit. That is amazing to me, and it shows that
I. Gaius was spiritually fit.
We live in a society where physical fitness is honored. Athletes are heroes. Popular musicians are instructed “to look the part of the superstar”. Movie Stars pay large amounts of money for personal trainers.
Even in the time of the New Testament, people took serious consideration to physical fitness. Paul used examples of running races to describe the Spiritual life.
But to have our spiritual life set the standard for our physical fitness? What a new concept!
John tells Gaius that he prays that Gauis will prosper and be healthy; just as his soul is healthy.
Wouldn’t that be wonderful for that to be said about us?
With physical fitness the evidence is clear. You lose weight. You tone your muscles. You entire appearance is changes. But when we become spiritually fit, the difference will show as well.
It will show in the way we interact with others. It will show in how we handle our affairs. It will show in how we manage our time. Something about us will be different.
I finished a book this week by John Maxwell. The book is a leadership book called Today Matters.
In the last chapter, he makes a statement that applies to growth.
The truth is, if we don’t take responsibility for our growth, it won’t happen. Growth is not automatic. If you believe it simply comes with age, you might turn out like the subject of singers and comedian Tennessee Ernie Ford’s comment, “He started at the bottom, and sort of like it there.”
And the same is true of our spiritual growth. We have become comfortable with where we are in regard to our spiritual fitness. And we start out at the bottom and find that we like it there. But, when we do this we miss the blessings that God has for us if we would just begin to grow.
Spiritual Growth is not automatic. We don’t just grow because we have been a Christian for ten years. We must do something about it.