Summary: Focus on being a servant to your church and pastor

3 John 1:1-8

“The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: Because that for his name’s sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.”

“Are there any dumb questions”? I have always and will continue to answer this question with a resounding, “Of course not”. But now, having been a preacher for nearly ten years, I will admit I have been asked my fair share of, lets just say, not the most intelligent questions. I’m not just talking about the occasional “Did Adam have a belly button?” or “Are there aliens in the Bible?”. I’m referring to the questions that the devil uses to make us doubt our place and purpose in Gods will.

Allow me illustrate…a few short years ago, I was preaching away from my home church. After talking and eating for a while after the service, like all good Baptists do, I was walking to my car when another preacher, who is an assistant pastor at another church, stopped me. As soon as he began to speak, I quickly realized that he did not want to just reflect on the awesome service we had just experienced, but rather he wanted to spiritually arm wrestle me. What I mean to say is he wanted to show me how much more spiritual he was than me. Let me confess right here that is not hard to do to me! I learned a long time ago that most folks who act super spiritual are just that… actors. This feigned holiness and a lack of realness is why the church is having problems evangelizing the lost. God save me from this religious crowd and give me the real crowd! Anyway, he proceeded to complain to me that he was tired of being an assistant pastor and having to do all of the work and not getting the credit he thought he deserved. Then he turned and looked me straight in the eye and asked, “What about you bro …Do you think this is all God has for you…What even is your ministry”? I must admit this question caught me off guard and to this day I can’t remember exactly how I answered or how I was able to finally convince him that I was spiritual enough to exit the conversation.

That question, that I originally brushed off, annoyingly started to echo in my mind. What was my ministry? Did I even have a ministry? Was this all I will ever be? Is this God’s will? Am I in God’s will? Am I even making a difference? Many folks in the Lords work are bothered by these questions. These questions bothered me until I read 3 John and was introduced to a man named Gaius. Not much is know about Gaius’ background or even his ministry. Many speculate that he was one of John’s many converts. He may also have been an assistant preacher that became a Pastor of a church that John started. I will not disagree with any of those ideas but I believe, without speculating, that Gaius was a great man with just what we read about him in the Bible. John, the man of God, tells us in this letter that he loved Gaius. He tells us that Gaius walks in the truth and that he deals faithfully with all men. John even says that stories of Gaius’ love for the work echoed throughout all of the churches. Now remember, Gaius did not perform any miracles or preach any great sermons that we know of . He was just a helper. Just a person that felt it was Gods will for his life to simply be available to lend a hand. For the sake of argument lets say Gaius was not a pastor, preacher, deacon or even the sunday school chariot driver. Just a Christian with no title, no ego, no agenda. Just a servant’s heart. I believe what John wanted us to know about brother Gaius was that he was just as valuable in the ministry as anyone with a title because John could count on him.

Gaius’ testimony reminded me of a documentary that I watched on sheepdogs and shepherds not long ago. I never realized how much a sheepdog meant to a shepherd. The shepherd being interviewed told how the dog made his life so much easier. He talked about the dog’s faithfulness and watchfulness to care for the flock and the shepherds. He spoke about how the dog’s purpose was to keep the flock together and to steer them in the direction the shepherd wanted them to go. He said the dog never asks for a thank you and in fact sometimes the shepherd felt as if the dog would thank him for allowing him to be a service. I have read many books and heard many sermons on the shepherd but not much is ever said about the sheep dogs.

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