1. Continued at gracesummit.org/Messages/entry/20141116
    Nathan Ference – Back-to-Back Mission trip to Mexico over spring break –
    Mike Marette – so many of our kids have gone on mission trips – if we added up the parts of the world our kids have gone, it is amazing!
    Lord, thank You for Your grace – and for Nathan and his commitment to go to Mexico – I know Alan and Annette went a few years ago with this same mission group – thank You that Nathan would take his spring break to serve You. Thank You for the opportunity to worship – the point is not us, it is You – that You might take glory in the praise of our lips, as weak as that might be – that we could touch Your heart through praise is amazing. Teach us as a church, that we could learn from You – that You could open our hearts to things that are important.
    We are going through 3 John – taking 3 weeks – this is week 2 – Gaius is the friend to whom this is written – he has some wealth, the church meets in his house – probably an important person in the city.
    3 John 1:5-8 NET
    Dear friend, you demonstrate faithfulness by whatever you do for the brothers (even though they are strangers). They have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone forth on behalf of “The Name,” accepting nothing from the pagans. Therefore we ought to support such people, so that we become coworkers in cooperation with the truth.
    What this passage – this is the entire passage for today – and it is talking about biblical hospitality. Gaius is a hospitable man – and John is thanking him. He is supporting ‘The brothers” – at that time, there was no compiled Bible. A synagogue might have some scrolls – it was a big job to pull those out and read them. There needed to be a way to communicate the gospel to the world – the apostles were given the responsibility to transmit the life of Jesus – but they were numbered, so they trained other men to train other men to take the message of the teachings of Christ. There were no Sunday School resources – no teaching curricula.
    So these men would come from James/Peter/Paul/John – and often they would say – this is a trustworthy guy – pay attention to them – and the churches would put them up and listen to them.
    John sends some folks to Gaius, and Gaius welcomes them into his home. Not just for one night – but probably for several nights/weeks/maybe even months. And he takes them in – feeding/caring for them – they came under his responsibility. And then meet their needs when you send them on their way. Hospitality was a primary virtue in that day. It is especially true in the church.
    Hebrews 13:2 NIV Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
    In New Testament times, when people travelled, it was a dangerous thing to do. You couldn’t just stop at a hotel with ice machines and bed bugs!
    There may have been inns – but even they were dangerous places – so when one went into a city – they would go to a friend of a friend – I have 3 kids in Columbus – and it would be like you showing up at their door and saying – I know your dad!
    Travel was a dangerous proposition.
    Even though hospitality is so important – it wasn’t always done. Think of Mary and Joseph going to the home of their ancestors – and no one puts them up – no one shows hospitality – so in that environment, you have a worldwide church organization that has no other method of communicating except sending people from town to town – hence the importance of hospitality. Gaius took in strangers – have you heard of Xenos in Columbus – big church? It means ‘stranger’.
    There are some similarities and differences in hospitality in the Bible – there are at least 4 levels of hospitality in the Bible –
    Business Casual Hospitality – being friendly and polite – the basics of hospitality – saying Hello! Good Morning! Shaking hands – saying – Welcome, my name is Mike, what is your name? It is what you find at Lowe’s and restaurants! We need these basic levels of hospitality in our lives.
    When you have boys – you teach them how to shake a hand – respond with respect!
    In the church, what is really important – it is genuine, and honest, and heartfelt. It can’t be a ‘sales technique’ – you can tell the difference between the two. Rarely do you find the ‘genuine’ at a used car lot! It happens – just rarely! (If you are a used car dealer reading this, I am confident you are one of the rare ones!).
    We need to be careful of over-exuberance in this area...
    Continued at gracesummit.org/Messages/entry/20141116

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