Summary: Segmented Narrative sermon which follows a selfish/self-absorbed family that illustrates that "We Love to Be First"
WE LOVE TO BE FIRST
THREAD: WE LOVE TO BE FIRST
READ 3 John 1:1-14
“The elder, To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth. 2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. 3 It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 5 Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you. 6 They have told the church about your love. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. 7 It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. 8 We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth. 9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us. 10 So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church. 11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. 12 Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone-- and even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true. 13 I have much to write you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink. 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Peace to you. The friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name.”
ME FIRST IN KINDERGARTEN (p)
It was her first day of kindergarten. Little Suzie Fizzlewhistle had waited not so patiently all morning while her parents got ready to take her to school. First they needed coffee. Then the dog needed to be walked. Then they had to eat. Who needs to eat when there is kindergarten to get to! Then they needed another cup of coffee for some reason. Adults must need coffee in the morning to walk out of the house. Then they got up her brother. They needed to forget about him and focus on getting her to school. She had already dressed herself and gotten ready for school and got her stuffed animals ready for school by the time it said 6-0-0 on the clock.
Finally everyone got in the car. And she did want everyone. Her parents wanted to leave all her stuffed animals at home, but she cried until she got her way. She often cried until she got what she wanted. All of her stuffed animals were in the seat next to her on the ride to the school and were buckled in safe. She arrived. For some reason, all the parents were crying like babies and the kids were acting all growd-up. Little Suzie Fizzlewhistle had been ready for school since forever.
The day did not disappoint. There was finger painting. She made sure she was first in line to get paints. There were goldfish for snacks which were her all time favorite. The teacher asked if anyone wanted seconds and she elbowed some boy out of the way to get some and was first in line. There was even a for real goldfish as a class pet on the teacher’s desk that during the middle of the day decided for some reason to sleep belly up. There were songs. She liked their songs, but when it came to a few songs she didn’t know, she sang whatever song she wanted no matter what anyone else was singing. There were rules, but those didn’t really apply to her. She was special. Her mother told her so.
A loud bell buzzed out over the whole school. It was lunch time. All the kids stood up and grouped at the door. Out came Little Suzie Fizzlewhistle with her bright pink sparkly lunchbox and shoved one girl out of the way. She shouldered some boy. She pushed her way all the way to the front and yelled at the top of her lungs, “Me first!
THREAD: WE LOVE TO BE FIRST
THE MESSAGE OF 3 JOHN
Third John, like 2nd John, is neither a large book nor a complicated book. It only has 14 verses. Unlike 2nd John, this letter is more of a personal letter written to a believer named Gaius. It is personal and it is official at the same time as it deals with some issues that Gaius is dealing with in his church community. The letter centers on a man named Diotrephes who is causing problems in the church family that Gaius is a part of.