These daily online studies are adapted from our Quiet Time Bible Guide. The studies go through the Old and New Testaments in just over two years. The approach taken by our quiet time Bible studies does not include answers. The goal of the study is to help you dig into Scripture for yourself. You can go deeper using a commentary, Bible background guide or Bible handbook.

3 John: Opening Our Hearts & Homes

For more context before you begin studying, read this introduction to the book of 3 John.

Imagine living in a world where there were no bed-and-breakfasts, no hotels and headwaiters. If traveling evangelists and teachers were to come to your town, you would have the privilege of inviting them into your home for the night and giving them provisions for their journey. Such was the world of John and his readers. Their hospitality was one of the clearest testimonies of their love for the brethren and obedience to God.

The same is true today. For in the words of Helga Henry, wife of noted theologian Carl F. H. Henry, "Christian hospitality is not a matter of choice; it is not a matter of money; it is not a matter of age, social standing, sex, or personality. Christian hospitality is a matter of obedience to God" (V. A. Hall, Be My Guest[Chicago: Moody Press, 1979], p. 9). For that reason the instruction concerning hospitality in this letter takes on added significance.

Warming Up to God

When is showing hospitality difficult?

Read 3 John

Discovering the Word

  • Why is Gaius an especially good example for us to follow?
  • How are both love and faithfulness demonstrated in Christian hospitality (vv. 5-6)?
  • Why do you think Christian workers are to look to Christians for support and not to non-Christians (vv. 7-8)?
  • In addition to hospitality, how else can we "work together" with such people?
  • How are the actions of Diotrephes consistent with his true heart's desire (vv. 9-11)?

Applying the Word

  • In contrast to Diotrephes, Demetrius was "well spoken of by everyone" (v. 12). If those who know you best were asked about your love and hospitality, what might they say?
  • In light of this passage, what practical steps could you take to develop more of a ministry of hospitality?

Responding in Prayer

Pray for an open heart that will lead you to an open home.

Get Today's Difficult Passage Explained - Hard Sayings of the Bible

Are you grappling with a difficult verse in the Bible? And are you looking for a short, easy-to-read answer that really makes sense without explaining away the verse? Visit this page for a new difficult passage explained daily.