csibiblestudy


My Dear Friend
July 3, 2017, 6:20 pm
Filed under: Searching for our Savior in His book | Tags: , ,

3rd John is a very personal letter from the Apostle John to a dear friend, who is most likely a pastor. Personal letters are difficult at times but I think the number 3 can help with this letter. For example, this letter mentions 3 people, Gaius, Diotrephes, and Demetrius. One is a pastor, one is a problem, and one is a “postal worker” who delivered the letter. From each person we are challenged as to our character and conduct.
I also noticed 3 qualities that are emphasized in this epistle. John, as led by the Spirit, wants us to focus on love, truth, and faithfulness. I find it amazing that in our culture today, these are three issues with which Christians struggle. Being able to demonstrate true, unconditional love is difficult is a society which stresses competition and the desire to be the top dog in our little world. Children show the desire to be the favorite as they fight for attention from parents. That desire continues as we seek our classmates attention, to gain approval from our friends, as we seek promotion and recognition on the job. Putting that aside and pouring ourselves into the success of others is difficult, especially on a daily basis and especially toward those who are “lesser” than we are.
We also live in a world that truth is no longer truth. Absolute truth is rejected and the area between right and wrong is faded and vanished. Every event has a spin on it. Every person’s opinion is equally right, unless it is the opinion of someone who rejects relativism and believes that God has established truth because He is Truth. Fake news is a real thing and determining the truth from the false is left up to each individual But God gives truth that is absolute, eternal, and relevant to each person in every culture at all times.
The third element is faithfulness. The concept of doing something and doing it right all the time is no longer a part of our world. As a child of God, I am to do all things to the glory of God. That means being faithful in all areas of my life.
The third set of 3s is found in the use of the word “beloved” (v2, 5, 11). Beloved, or dear friend, prosper in life. Beloved, do what you do faithfully to all. Beloved, follow good not evil. We are challenged to live today in a world as overcomers, faithfully giving our all to do what is good and right in God’s sight, regardless of what others do.
Read the epistle and ask the Spirit to challenge you.

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Twenty-One Days of Prayer, Day 16, Pray for the Titus’, Our Missionaries (2 Corinthians 4:1-6)

Cletis and Tammy
Following a passage on the New Covenant, the Apostle Paul, wrote “Therefore, since we have this ministry”. Therefore is such a powerful word in Scripture. Paul is saying, since we have the ministry of sharing the Good News of the Gospel, we do not lose heart, or abandon your commitment to the Gospel like a coward. That is the ministry of Tammy and Cletis Titus. Their hearts are so committed to sharing the Gospel that obstacles are not roadblocks to ministry but platforms on which to proclaim the goodness and love of our God. As I pray for them, I thank God for giving them the ministry that they have. The difficulties that they encounter, have not served as reasons to walk away, but as opportunities to show the grace and mercy, power and strength, love and care of our mighty God. They face difficulties and discouragement but don’t lose heart because they rest in Him. Please God, remind them of your power and love when struggles come. I also want to pray, thanking you for their faithfulness in proclaiming God’s Word. They share a love for the Word, and love to share that love with those they are ministering. From faithful preaching of God’s truth, to the training of new converts, they give God’s Word. Please God help them when sharing Your Word. Then God, I pray for those to whom they minister to have the light of the Holy Spirit cast upon the Word. I pray that the influence of Satan, the god of this world, would be curtailed and that You would prepare hearts to hear and receive the Gospel. Help Cletis and Tammy be guided by Your light and give them wisdom to see life the way You are looking at it. Help them to continue to preach Christ and to make Him the star of their ministry. The One who spoke light into existence, will shine in our hearts to give knowledge of the glory of God as that glory was in the face of Jesus. Help Cletis and Tammy see Your glory and never let them get over each encounter with You. God continue to use the Titus’ and expand their ministry as You desire. God, use them and empower them to do amazing things for Your glory.



Twenty-One Days of Prayer, Day 13, Praying for the Freres (Our Missionaries)

frere
The Frere’s – 2 Corinthians 9:10-14. Praying needs to be specific and today, as a church we are praying for Marc and Elmyr Frere, missionaries to Haiti. So what do we pray? According to the passage connected with this day, we should pray for our faithful God to supply and multiply their seed for sowing and increase the harvest of their righteousness. It seems that we should pray for their right standing before God. I understand that the righteousness that enables them to stand upright before God is the imputed righteousness they were credited with at the time of salvation. But there is also a practical and daily righteousness that comes as a result of surrendering to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. So I need to pray that each day they will be surrendered to the Holy Spirit. I am also going to pray that there faith will be revealed in their actions. As missionaries, Marc and Elmyr will be under a microscope, and some will expect perfection. But Marc and Elmyr are just like us, imperfect followers of the perfect God. As missionaries we need to pray for their failures and that God will work those things together for His glory. According to the passage, we need to pray for them to have lives that practice thankfulness. They will live a life of faith and see God do amazing things in and for them. I am praying that God’s amazing work will never be taken for granted, but will always be received with a thankful heart. I pray that there will be an overflowing of the provision and work of God on their behalf. I pray that they will glorify God in their faithful service and confession of the Gospel. I pray that they will allow God to show mercy and grace through them to those they love and to whom they serve. Finally, in my prayers for these servants of the most high God, I pray that they value the relationship with Jesus Christ, who is God’s priceless gift. Please God keep the Frere’s humble in your sight, and constantly amazed that You are working through them. Help them to be wrapped up in the wonder of You, and the relationship they have following Jesus the Anointed, Your priceless and unspeakable free gift. God for me, please help me be persistent and consistent in my prayers for the Freres and lift them up to you. Let me be sensitive to them and what You burden me to pray. Thank you for their surrendered hearts and willingness to be used. Provide the financial support, the prayer partners, and the ready hearts to see Your Glory. Keep them safe in You and take care of their doubts and questions.