Hosea 6:1-9:17, 3 John 1:1-15, Psalms 126:1-6, Proverbs 29:12-14
Today is the 7th day of December. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s always the joy of the day to sit down in front of the microphone and know that we’re gathering around the word of God and around our global campfire in community for the next step forward. And the next step forward’s gonna take us into some new some new territory in the New Testament. We have a new letter to explore together. But first we’ll take the next step forward in the book of Hosea. Si, we’re reading from the God’s Word Translation this week. Hosea chapter 6 verse 1 through 9 17 today.
Introduction to Third John:
Alright. So, we read the entirety of Second John yesterday, the second letter of John and we’re gonna do the same thing today, only it will be Third John. And this letter was probably written around the same time that the other two letters were written, and it was also likely written from Ephesus, where church tradition tells us that John spent the latter part of his life. But Third John is a bit different than John’s other two letters because of one specific thing. Like the apostle Paul’s letter to Philemon, Third John is a personal letter and it was written to a man named Gaius. And Gaius was a respected believer within the network of churches that John had leadership over. And John wrote this letter as a word of personal encouragement to Gaius for his passion for the gospel and his willingness to put that passion into action and his willingness to serve and support traveling teachers who were sent out by John throughout the churches. And this was not an uncommon thing in that day and it’s not an uncommon thing now, the custom of welcoming itinerant ministers and caring for their needs. This has been a common thing in the church and John saw this letter as a necessary communication because another church leader named Diotrephes had distanced himself from John and in the process, he refused to offer hospitality to the traveling missionaries and to make this even a worse situation, Diotrephes was throwing people out of the church who disagreed with him and assisted these itinerant ministers. So, John wrote to Gaius because Gaius wasn’t going along with that story. So, John wrote to commend him for his care in showing hospitality to those who were traveling around sharing the gospel and building up and encouraging in the faith the churches. So, this letter from John would’ve affirmed Gaius and that would’ve put it in writing, that Gaius was doing the right thing. And you can only imagine that a personal letter from one of the 12 disciples of Jesus would’ve carried a lot of weight with the churches involved. So, we’re gonna read the whole thing in just a second. But Third John does give us a glimpse into some of the tensions that existed during the formative years of the church. We so often look through rose colored glasses into the time of the book of Acts and think that, you know, everything just went perfectly and swimmingly and smoothly. But then we read the Bible and realize, oh, all of the struggles that that we face in our time may be contextualized different, they may be wearing different clothes, but the struggle existed. And, so, there’s plenty to learn from that. And, so, we begin. And we will also end Third John.
Father as we end this, another work week, and move into the weekend, we recall what we’ve read today, the encouragement that we were given today from the book of Hosea. Let’s learn about the Lord. Let’s get to know the Lord. He will come to us as sure as the morning comes. He will come to us like the autumn rains and the spring rains that water the ground. We believe that father, you have always come for us. It is only that so often when you come for us we’re not there, we’re somewhere else, we’re distracted by the future or we’re distracted by our past and we’re not here when you come for us. And this season that we’re in, as things speed up and we go running toward Christmas and we go running toward the new year, it’s so easy to be distracted from the fact that you are coming for us, that you are near, that you want to fellowship and have intimacy with us. And that’s ironic because of the season that we’re in. If there’s one season of the year that we should slow down and rest in you and marvel that you would draw near, that you would come for us, it’s this season. And, so, we confess these things, we acknowledge these challenges and we invite your Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit, rejuvenate us with rest and calm and shalom as we move into the weekend. Come Jesus we pray. In your mighty name we ask. Amen.
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