Summary: The descriptions given of the 3 men that John wrote about in 3 John are general descriptions of the type of hearts that we find in every church. The Heart of a Servant, the Heart of the Evangelist, and the Un-teachable Heart.
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Pastor James May
THREE HEARTS IN THE CHURCH
3 John 1:1-12, "The elder unto the well-beloved 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 fellow-helpers to the truth. I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God. Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true."
In the 3rd epistle of St. John, written when in his old age to his personal friend, Gaius, we are given an insight into the condition of the early church of the first century. Even in the early church that had been established only for a few years there were already divisions and schisms. The heart of man is ever in need of changing but that change can only come about as we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us.
This letter to Gaius points to the condition of the heart of three men in the early church that will give us a description of the type of attitudes, or hearts, that we still find in the church of today.
Gaius – the Servant’s Heart
Gauis is a man who is called into a Pastoral ministry because of his love and concern for the people of God. He is called to minister to those of the House of God who are sick, distressed, hurting, discouraged or who are in need of teaching and instruction.
How good it is to form life-long friendships in the ministry. There are those ministers, who will come into your life and make such a profound impact upon your heart that they are forever considered your friend. They take more than a casual interest in your life, they immerse themselves into the lives of those around them, especially those who are under their leadership as a Pastor.
This is the kind of heart that every one of us must have if we are to become a leader of men in the church and especially if we are called to the ministry of a Pastor.
Understand that the qualities required to make a good Pastor are also needed in every ministry that God may call you to do. In fact, every Christian, whether called to a pulpit ministry or not, should strive to develop the good characteristics of the heart that we will speak about this morning.
First of all, John’s love for Gaius is quickly noticeable. It is not hard to love those who exhibit love to us. The main reason that many people stay in any church is that they develop a love for the Pastor because of what he shows toward them. It is my prayer that I never fall short of showing love, compassion and concern for every one of the members of Victory Temple. I know that I could never be a Pastor at all if it weren’t for the work in building good relationships with every member.