“Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” Romans 12:13
As the love of Christ is at work in the life of the believer, it shows in various aspects of our lives. Last week, I wrote on the importance of friendship in the body of Christ. Helpfulness, hospitality, and friendship are all areas where we need to reach out and be intentional in the lives of others. Today’s focus will be hospitality.
What is hospitality? Hospitality is reaching out in welcome, even welcoming others into our homes. It’s reaching out with a desire to care for and provide for the needs of others. Hospitality is reaching out to the stranger. Hospitality is also reaching out in care and love to our brothers and sisters in Christ. The sense in the Greek of Romans 12:13 is that we are to go out of our way to provide such things, especially for those who lack basic needs. We should also be ready to welcome fellow Christians into our homes when they are traveling or otherwise in need.
The Apostle Paul teaches us in Romans 12:13 that hospitality should be an active practice in the Christian life. His instruction is nestled in a list of characteristics and practices that should be true in the children of God. Beginning in verse 9, Paul speaks of genuine love, brotherly affection, being fervent in service to the Lord, rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, and steadfast in prayer. All of these are helpful precursors as Paul then speaks to distributing to the needs of the saints and being given to hospitality.
Let me challenge and encourage you and your family to be committed to be hospitable. Doing so will take intention and preparation. Have you thought about having your home ready to welcome church visitors or others you don’t know? Have you thought about opening your home and being ready to care for missionaries and other fellow Christians who are traveling and need a place to stay? Have you thought of extending hospitality to those in our church, to help take care of one another’s needs, to share a meal, to invest in each others lives? We need to be mindful and ready to do such things.
Remember and consider the following from Scripture today:
- Abraham sat at the tent-door (Genesis 18:1), and Lot, who sat in the gate of Sodom (Genesis 19:1), expecting travelers whom they might meet and give a kind invitation. So, they entertained angels unawares (Hebrews 13:2).
- The words of Jesus in Matthew 25:33-36 “And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
May the Lord be pleased to teach us the beauty and blessings of hospitality. May we, by His grace, be faithful to reach out and do it.