NIV Discover God’s Heart Devotional Bible

Duration: 365 days


3 John

God’s Story

God inspires John, “the elder,” to write to Gaius, a member and evidently a leader of a church. Gaius is walking in the truth. He is faithfully living like a child of the King, advancing God’s kingdom by loving him and other people well. Other believers have come to John and testified about Gaius’s love and how wonderfully faithful he is to God and his truth. Nothing brings John more joy than hearing that fellow believers are living in light of all God has taught.

Gaius’s love has even extended to teachers who have visited his home as they travel to tell people about Jesus. These believers have told John about Gaius’s extreme generosity. John is delighted.

Then John shares a warning. Another church leader, Diotrephes, likes to be first in everything. He slanders believers, he isn’t hospitable and he even throws out members of the church if they treat traveling believers kindly. John warns Gaius not to be like Diotrephes, who is doing what is evil.

John signs off his letter with peace and writes that he wishes to visit Gaius soon to see his friend face to face.

The King’s Heart

Because God is good, there are certain things that he hates—like injustice, unkindness, jealousy and dishonesty. And because he is good, there are certain things he loves—kindness, justice, integrity—attributes that line up with his heart. As his children, we are to magnify what God loves and stand against what he hates.

In his letter, John does that. He celebrates Gaius’s hospitality but condemns Diotrephes’s lack of it. He even implies that Diotrephes’s evil actions demonstrate he doesn’t know God. John is loving what God loves and hating what God hates. And, to borrow a phrase from Paul, he is “speaking the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).

As we grow closer to God, we’ll be better able to identify what he loves and hates. Not only that, but he’ll begin to shape our hearts like his. We’ll start to love what he loves and hate what he hates.

As our hearts start to beat in rhythm with God’s, we’ll be able to speak the truth in love too. As we share God’s truth, our hearts beating with his, the broken world will both see what is true and feel God’s love in it. We’ll be representing the Lord Jesus as he is—“full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).


John writes favorably about Demetrius, telling Gaius that everyone—and even “the truth itself”—speaks well of him (3 John 12). Demetrius was perhaps also the carrier of this letter.

Copyright © 2014 by Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.

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