When God’s children are in need, be the one to help them out. And get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner or, if they need lodging, for the night. Romans 12:13 NLT
Over the last few decades our culture has become increasingly isolationistic. Many people are uncomfortable saying hello to strangers; few people establish and maintain eye contact with others; eyes and minds are buried in smart phones and other mobile screens and most are not acquainted with their own neighbors. If you would like to be an agent of change in this area don’t lament the fact that it may be true for you and wallow in guilt. Trust God and choose to act upon this wonderful passage that reminds us to step outside our comfort zones and overcome cultural influence to actually meet the real needs of people we meet. We are encouraged to be on the lookout for those who have need of physical sustenance in the form of food or shelter. They could be fellow believers, neighbors or strangers that God has brought into our lives for no other apparent reason.
As Christ followers we are called to reflect His love in the world. The act of hospitality is a tangible way for us to mirror that love. In His earthly ministry Jesus showed His love for others by often meeting their needs when those needs were presented to Him. He gave sight to the blind, gave the ability to walk to the lame, healed the sick and fed the five thousand, just to name a few. But our ultimate need, to be reconciled to God, was met by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. The need for that sacrifice was determined before the foundation of the world. He willingly gave His life to meet our need for a Savior. This gives us the opportunity, if we believe upon His name, to have a right relationship to our Creator.
So yes, for us to be hospitable some sacrifice of time and resources will be required as we reflect the love of Christ by meeting physical needs for food or shelter. Such a small price to pay compared to the joy one will receive when one helps a fellow human being in need. Develop the habit of ministering to other people and you will be blessed beyond measure.
Contributed by Larry Havlen, Spiritual Life Coordinator, Heritage Christian Services