Diotrephes

Scripture – 3 John 1:9-10

9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. 10 So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.”

Observation

John is talking about church leader who has let the privilege of leading a group of believers go to his head, so much so that he wants to have his own little fiefdom. John explains that not only will Diotrephes welcome him and his companions, but won’t even welcome believers from other places.  Worse yet, he expels from the church those who would try to do so! This is not a 21st century church problem, it has happened since the beginning. It is so easy to allow “one’s ministry” to become the center of everything and forget about the bigger picture of the kingdom of God advancing.

Application

As I prepare to step into a new role at a new local church with new responsibilities and new temptations to make it the center of my life, I need to remember the story of Diotrephes, and always be aware that the church that I serve and my role are just a small part of what God Almighty is doing on the earth. I must never let my eyes become clouded from how I can welcome, bless and encourage brothers and sisters in the faith who are walking in the truth.

Prayer

Jesus, you are all I need today. Never let my understanding of the bigger picture of your kingdom become clouded by the privilege of serving a local church body. I am yours today. Amen.

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