Did you know it is good to give to others who are doing full time work for Jesus? Did you know it is honorable in God’s sight? I came across this in the Bible this morning. From the third letter of the Apostle John, writing to his friend Gaius:
|“Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church about your love. Please send them on their way in a manner that honors God. It was for the sake of the Name that they went out…We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth.” – 3 John 1:5-7a (emphasis mine)|
This relatively unknown man, Gaius, is now forever known as a man who cheerfully gave to the needs of other Christians simply because they were doing full time work for Jesus. The people he supported or helped raise support for may have been missionaries, or traveling preachers, or church planters, or social do-gooders seeking to help communities. He didn’t know them as a friend. Maybe he only heard reports about them from other towns, but he knew they were in the business of working for Jesus. They were doing some kind of work that did not allow them to also hold a side job that could pay all the bills. That’s not to assume that none of them had side jobs, but their main focus was giving away the free gospel of Jesus Christ. Therefore, they needed additional financial or material support from fellow believers. Gaius saw the goodness of the gospel and became an advocate for the on-mission Christians who passed through his city.
The Stewarts can identify with both parts of this verse. It is “for the sake of the Name” of Jesus Christ that we go to Tanzania. We have also received the sweet hospitality of believing strangers. There are many people who have given to us their hard earned money, hard learned wisdom, practical support, and material gifts and some of them we never knew before our preparations began. While many on our team are long time friends, some are acquaintances, and some total strangers. Yet everyone has given for the same reason: they believe in the cause for which we go and they are faithful to support it. They, like Gaius, know that it is a good thing to support others doing good work.
For those who on our team: we are deeply thankful and grateful. Your encouragement and support are used by God to keep us moving forward even when the mountainous task ahead scares us. You are being used by God to declare his love and his pleasure for us in a tangible way.
If you want to join the Stewart team we would love to have you. But if not, we want to encourage you to see the huge significance in supporting anyone who devotes their life “for the sake of the Name”. Every Christian ministry around the world is supported by the faithful and generous giving of others who believe in the Name or believe in the cause. Whoever you choose to support, John’s letter to Gaius reminds us that shared hospitality and support is needed and most importantly is it good.
Want to join the Stewart team? Send us a message on Facebook, or email, or through this website. We want to talk with you. If not, pray and ask God to show you who else you might support. There are many strangers out there and it is a faith-full thing to support them.
As you give, you will find your faith rising, your joy increasing, and an ever growing desire to keep going after Jesus.