This is a great little letter from the Apostle John to a dear friend named Gaius. I love the first five verses:
The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth. 2 Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. 3 For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 5 Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are…
Got Questions says this about the word beloved, which John uses 3 times in these verses to refer to Gaius: “In the inspired letters, beloved means “friends dearly loved by God.” In the New Testament, the use of the word beloved implies more than human affection. It suggests an esteem for others that comes from recognizing their worth as children of God. Those addressed were more than friends; they were brothers and sisters in Christ and therefore highly valued.”
Three other things strike me about these verses…
1) John prays for Gaius about mundane things – that things will go well; that his health will be good; that his soul will be refreshed. His prayer does not use flowery language or sound super spiritual. It is just a simple prayer for a dear friend.
2) John encourages Gaius because of his “walking in the truth.” I need to do more of what John does here – write an encourage note to those who are steadfast in their pursuit of God and let them know that it gives us joy to see how they are living out their faith.
3) John affirms Gaius’ faithful ministry even to those who are strangers to him. It is much easier to minister to those that we like and who are friends. But strangers are a different story. John wants Gaius to know how much he appreciates his ministry to people who will most likely not be able to reciprocate his kindness and generosity.
May this brick give you some ideas about how you can encourage those in your “beloved” circle of friends.