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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

October 16 2021

Today, Saturday October 16

“But Diotrephes….”

3 John 1:9-11 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church. Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.

The Apostle John wrote this little epistle specifically to a man named Gaius. Gaius was a wonderful man in the local church that was a great example of a genuine follower of Jesus and a wonderful encouragement to everyone, including John. But just every church has a Gaius, it seems every church also has a Diotrephes.

It is interesting to me that the Apostle John who is known as the disciple of love, and also who wrote First John about loving one another, not only deals with this man who is causing problems in the church, but he mentions him by name. Remember John has already told us that we are to love in truth. This means that as we express God’s love to everyone we must also be willing to deal with problems and the person who is causing the division, strife or disturbance in the fellowship of believers.

This is exactly what John does in verses nine through eleven. One of the most discouraging things, especially for a young pastor or even a young believer in the church is to encounter a “Diotrephes”. This type of person usually appears at first to be a very genuine and dedicated follower of Jesus. They are willing to serve and do almost anything that needs to be done to make the church a better place. And because of this they are put into positions of leadership and you think you can trust them.

But before long it is obvious they are manipulators and want to be in control of almost anything or everything that is going on in the church. In my very first year as a senior pastor I had this experience with such an individual. At first he appeared to be most dedicated member in the church. But after a few months, when we didn’t agree with him on how somethings should be done, it became obvious that he didn’t want me to be the pastor. And honestly, at that time, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to be the pastor. I had wanted to go to a foreign country as a missionary! He begin to do everything he could to destroy and get rid of me, and it became a major crisis for me, my family and the church.

It was very painful and discouraging. A Diotrephes in your life or church fellowship can definitely bring strife and discord and cause great pain and discomfort. But I learned that it also becomes a great opportunity for us to trust the Lord and learn how to overcome “evil with good” (v. 11).

If there is a “Diotrephes” in your life or church, I pray that this study in Third John will help you through this difficult time.

God bless!

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