The Importance of Affirmation
John praises and encourages Gaius for his "witness of...love before the church" (v. 6).
Affirmation is a powerful force for good in the Christian life. We all long to be affirmed for who we are and what we are doing. We all like to hear: "Good job." In essence, that is what John writes in his third epistle. He affirms Gaius in several areas: for his knowledge of truth, for his application of that knowledge, for offering hospitality to fellow Christians and to strangers, and for helping to support traveling missionaries. Good job, Gaius.
The Lord has not left us without instruction but leads us to truth, and so we praise Him:
All Your works shall praise You, O Lord,
And Your saints shall bless You.
They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom,
And talk of Your power,
To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts,
And the glorious majesty of His kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And Your dominion endures throughout all generations (Psalm 145:10-13).
Pause for praise and thanksgiving. Pray this confession to the Lord as you seek to keep your life free from sin:
I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I have not hidden.
I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,"
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin...
You are my hiding place;
You shall preserve me from trouble;
You shall surround me with songs of deliverance Selah (Psalm 32:5, 7).
Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind, and pray this affirmation to the Lord:
You did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father" (Romans 8:15).
As you make your requests known to the Lord, include:
- Personal discipline
- Christians who are persecuted for their faith
- Your activities for the day
Finally, offer this closing prayer to the Lord:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).