I’m trying something new… a video blog. Let me know what you think. I added my original transcript below.
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. 3 John 1:9-10
Diotrephes apparently had great influence in the church. However, he used that influence to tear down John and effectively shun people. John, who had literally been with Christ many years ago, immediately recognized the evilness of Diotrephes’ attitude and condemned it. If you read the entire book of 3 John(1 chapter), you will notice that most of the church was faithfully living for Christ and showing His love to both the brethren and to strangers. As in most cases, it only took one person to cause problems for the whole church. People who set themselves up as authority figures and then start strife are doing the work of Satan, not God. Let us all seek to bring Christ’s love to those around us, and be cautious of modern day Diotrephes.
“He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” Proverbs 28:9
We often make much of Christians having a time for prayer, which is very important. But, there is much more than being a Christian than reading the Bible and asking God for a bunch of stuff. Christians are to have a relationship with God. If I wrote my wife a note everyday asking her to do stuff for me, but ignored her thoughts and feelings about my life, I would have a bad relationship. Sometimes that is how we treat God. We read a few verses. We tell God what we want and then we live as if He really doesn’t care what we do. Let’s be sure to have an everyday life that backs up our everday relationship with God and proves our everyday prayer to be sincere.
“Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:” 1 Peter 3:16-18
Everybody is falsely accused at some time. Maybe it’s a bully at school, a sibling, or even a parent or teacher that doesn’t understand the entire situation. Whether it is on purpose or a mistake, it always hurts when people portray you as something that you are not. Because we live in a sin cursed world, we can expect this treatment throughout life. The difference in a Christian is how they react to it. First, we should have a reputation of doing right, and of not overreacting when we are falsely accused. Second, we ought to look to Christ as our example for accepting unjust suffering and using it for good. God is in control, and you may be going through this for the purpose of glorifying God. The world expects you to attack your enemy, but you’re not of the world. Christ in you should be evident to the world around you.
“And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” 1 John 5:19-21
John lived in a day when idolatry was everywhere. The great Temple to Diana had taken two hundred years to complete. Beautiful 60 foot pillars held up the magnificent structure. Sculptures of Aphrodite, Mars, Mercury and Zeus in various states were on display throughout. Gardens were all around, adorned with trophies from war, as well as sculptures and paintings by the finest artists in all of Greece. In the center stood the goddess covered in a Persian silk veil. Thousands would come to the temple to worship, filling it with smoke from incense and offerings. The trumpets would sound, the veil would be removed and the people would fall prostate to the Satanic black ebony statue upon the black marble pedestal.
In today’s world it’s easy to be distracted by the ‘idols.’ I’m not talking about statues. Today people worship many things, not the least of which is acceptance. We are so scared of offending or being rejected by someone that we refuse to tell people the truth. As John clearly states, the truth is Jesus. Diana didn’t last, today her temple is in ruins, but the gospel of Jesus Christ is eternal. The popular, rich and famous who worshiped Diana and rejected Christ may have seemed better off at that time, but their life, like their idol, was temporary. I challenge you to stay true to the faith. Walk close to the only true God. Share the Truth everywhere. And, never allow the temporal idolatry of the world around you to discourage you from your eternal hope in Christ.
Acts 3:6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
Here’s a guy that had never walked before. He was crippled from birth. When he saw Peter, he asked Peter for money. Like many preachers, Peter didn’t have money, so He gave the man the ability to walk instead. Of course, it was really Christ working through Peter. A lot of people are looking for things or money, like this man was; however, most of us don’t have a lot of things or money to give away. Maybe you can’t give your classmates at school what they ask you for, but you can share the true love and hope of Christ! God won’t hold you responsible for what is out of your control, but He will hold you responsible for sharing your faith. After all, everyone wants unconditional love and eternal hope.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
Who knows what synergy is? The actual definition is, “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.” For instance, a strong horse can pull about 9,000 pounds. Therefore, two strong horses can individually pull a total of about 18,000 pounds. However, if you put both of the horses pulling the same wagon together, they can pull 35,000 pounds! If you have ever exercised by yourself, you know it’s easy to quit. However, if you exercise with a friend, you will tend to run further. The same is true for Christians. Our youth group should be encouraging each other and working together in our everyday lives–at school, at home, at the mall, and at church; every teenager needs a friend to help them up when they fall spiritually, morally, emotionally, and, for some, even physically!
Colossians 2:6-7 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
A sign of established Christian faith is thankfulness. Paul repeatedly mentions throughout his writing that we are to always be thankful. The world should know you as a person who is always grateful for what they have, even when things go wrong. We all have a Facebook friend who is constantly complaining. It’s like their whole life is miserable, and they feel the need to constantly express it. You are fed, clothed, and educated, which is more than many can say. Beyond that, you have an eternal hope in Christ that gives you an earthly purpose for life. Even fewer people on earth have that. Show the people around you and the God Who died for you the thankfulness that comes from established faith in Christ.
Luke 13:1-3 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
This is a pretty crazy story. The Romans, led by Pilate, controlled the Jews. Pilate took money from the temple treasury to finance the aqueducts. The Jews saw this as highly offensive and began to protest at the temple. Pilate had Roman soldiers dress in street clothes, conceal weapons, mingle into the mob, and kill quite a few Jews. Now the people ask Jesus about it. If Jesus defends the Jews, He risks being targeted by Pilate. If Jesus defends the Romans, the Jews would consider Him a traitor. Either way, He could lose His ministry and maybe His life. Jesus points out that the bad things that happen to people are not always because of their personal sin. After all, the Galilaeans who were killed were no worse than those who were not killed. The point is, all men reserve death and hell, and only by the grace of God is anyone saved. Thank God for His grace today and share the knowledge of the love of God with someone else.
Philemon 1:18 If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;
Paul is writing this letter from jail to a man named Philemon. Philemon was man of means who had a church meeting in his house. Onesimus was a servant to Philemon; he stole from Philemon and then ran away. If Onesimus got caught, he could be taken to court by Philemon and sentenced to death! While Paul was in prison, he met Onesimus, and Onesimus got saved. Paul convinced Onesimus to go back to Philemon, but he knew this would be a risk. So Paul, in a Christ-like spirit, tells Philemon that he will pay back anything that Onesimus owes Philemon. Christianity is all about accepting something painful or costly to bring healing to a relationship for someone else. That’s what Christ did for us on the cross! Do you live in such a way that others are blessed and relationships are restored, or do you live for yourself?