Opening Questions and Prayer:
Growing up, who was a friend who would get you in trouble?
What’s a humorous story of how they got you in trouble?
What were some other ways they influenced you?
Who were some godly influences in your life and how did they influence you?
Ask the Lord to guide your time together. Thank Him for the godly influences He has given you.
Read 3 John 1:1-2 NLT
1 This letter is from John, the elder.
I am writing to Gaius, my dear friend, whom I love in the truth.
2 Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit.
Who is John writing to and what does he think about him?
What three things does John want for his friend?
Who are some people you love in the truth?
What do you hope and want for them?
What can you do this week to thank and encourage one or two of those people you listed?
Read 3 John 1:3-4
3 Some of the traveling teachers recently returned and made me very happy by telling me about your faithfulness and that you are living according to the truth. 4 I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.
What gives John joy?
Where do you find your joy?
If someone were to hang out with you for a while, what stories would they be able to share about your faithfulness and how you live according to the truth?
How are you helping your children and the next generation to follow the truth?
Where can you lead and serve to help others follow the truth?
Read 3 John 1:5-8
5 Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. 6 They have told the church here of your loving friendship. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God. 7 For they are traveling for the Lord, and they accept nothing from people who are not believers. 8 So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth.
How does John describe someone being faithful to God?
Why are these people so important to John?
What are some ways you could help others who travel and share the Gospel? (If you need some ideas, check out the mission tab on the BethelEVV app!)
What would it look like for you to be a partner with a missionary?
Read Romans 10:13-15
13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”
What does Paul say about taking the message of the Gospel to others?
Who told you about the good news of Jesus?
It is important to support others in the mission God has called them to, but what group of people has God called you to take His good news?
What step can you take this week to live that out?
Read 3 John 1:9-10
9 I wrote to the church about this, but Diotrephes, who loves to be the leader, refuses to have anything to do with us. 10 When I come, I will report some of the things he is doing and the evil accusations he is making against us. Not only does he refuse to welcome the traveling teachers, he also tells others not to help them. And when they do help, he puts them out of the church.
How was Diotrephes being a bad influence in the church?
What are some ways people can be bad influences in the church?
How do you discern between someone who is a bad influence versus someone who sins and needs help and correction?
If anyone comes to mind when you hear about bad influences in the church, how can you talk to them this week?
If they don’t listen, who can you get to go with you to talk to them?
Read 3 John 1:11-12
11 Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God.
12 Everyone speaks highly of Demetrius, as does the truth itself. We ourselves can say the same for him, and you know we speak the truth.
What is John’s warning to Gaius?
What/who are some good influences in your life right now?
What/who are some bad influences in your life right now? (Don’t name names, especially if they are in the room)
If John were to include your name in this letter, would he put you in the category of Demetrius or Diotrephes?
What’s one thing you can do this week to do good to others?
Read 3 John 1:13-15
13 I have much more to say to you, but I don’t want to write it with pen and ink.14 For I hope to see you soon, and then we will talk face to face.
15 Peace be with you. Your friends here send you their greetings. Please give my personal greetings to each of our friends there.
Just like in his previous letter, why does John want to meet in person instead of writing to them?
How have you stayed connected to others during this past year?
What can you do to connect with someone this week that you haven’t in awhile?
Last week if you said you were going to go to someone’s porch and pray with them, did you do it?
Set that goal again this week and go reach out to someone!
3 John 1:11- Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God.
Bonus Verse 3 John 1:4- I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.
Closing thoughts and prayer
Your reputation matters. It’s not enough to just show up on a Sunday (or watch online). Your daily life matters. Your family is watching, your friends are watching, your co-workers are watching, and you have influence into their lives. Be a good influence and point them to Christ. When you mess up, ask for forgiveness and repair the relationship. Don’t be fake, don’t put up a front. People want authenticity, so live authentically for the Kingdom of God.
Spend time thanking the Lord for those good influences in your life that have helped you in your faith journey. Ask God to show you where you can have that same influence on others. Pray for one person this week that you can show God's love. End your time praying for those hurting and in need around the world. Especially our brothers and sisters in Christ in Myanmar.