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Hospitality to Missionaries

3 John 1:5-8
Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church about your love. Please send them on their way in a manner that honours God. It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth. (NIVUK)

Gaius, the man John was writing to, was a godly man who believed what the apostles taught. He had not embraced false teaching and his faith was commended by John (3 John 1:3). Now we discover that he had a wonderful ministry of hospitality. The churches were growing so fast, partly because they appointed suitable people to be sent out as missionaries to preach the gospel and plant new churches.

Those missionaries went because they believed in Jesus and proclaimed His Name (His divinity, character and ministry - especially His death and resurrection) so that many more might believe. As they went out they 'travelled light', following the instructions of Jesus (Mark 6:8-10); they received no help from unbelievers but certainly needed food, shelter and loving fellowship. Gaius wanted to help and willingly accommodated them, even though they were strangers to him.

The churches heard of this man's loving generosity, and they rejoiced that the Lord had used Gaius, his home and his money. John knew that such a vital ministry could falter if not encouraged, and so he affirmed Gaius saying that he was doing the right things. John urged him to ensure that the missionaries had a generous supply of what they needed when they went on their way. The ministry of hospitality was and is an essential part of the whole mission of the gospel.

Why should we refuse to be hospitable to bona fide believers who are on mission for Jesus' sake? Yes, some people abuse the hospitality; but do not forget you are giving to God who knows your heart. It should be given willingly and generously, because God has already given so generously to us (2 Corinthians 8:10-15). Never think that hospitality is a lesser ministry than others: it is essential to provide rest and refreshment. Then God's servants can proclaim the gospel and teach believers how to live in a way which pleases Him. Give God the key of your home, and let Him bring people to you. He will bless them and advance His gospel through your loving and generous service.

Lord of my home. Thank You for being so generous to me in many ways. Forgive me for when I have withheld hospitality to Your servants, who teach Your Word and win the lost for Christ. Please help me to give You the key of my home so that You will use it as You choose. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams