Daily Devotional

Romans 12:13

...practicing hospitality...

It was William Barclay who said,  “Christianity should be characterized by an open hand, an open heart and an open door.” How unlike the American mentality, where our homes are our castles, impregnable forts with iron gates (locked security doors), guard dogs (even the mini-versions). They have become accessible only to family and a few close friends we trust. Given the onslaught of home invasions, one understands why this has happened. Of course, the COVID 19 pandemic has caused even more of a fortress mentality. However, we must not carry this to extremes.

In this season of health restrictions regarding gathering in larger groups, we are desperately in need of assembling together in smaller fellowship groups. Hebrews 10:25 speaks of not forsaking the “assembling together.” This was written at a time when churches mostly gathered in small groups. Frankly, this is what the “dispersed and persecuted” church has done throughout the ages, and is especially needed today.

Throughout the Bible we are reminded that our homes are one of the most important vehicles by which we gather and show God’s love to others. Our homes are to be more like a forest than a fortress, open to all who enter for shelter and provision. In Romans 12 the apostle Paul is instructing believers in their responsibilities as Christians. Listen to his words: “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality” (Romans 12:9-13).  

In particular, I want to reflect on the last words of this important text, as we are called as disciples of Christ to be “practicing hospitality” (Romans 12:13). The King James Versions calls us to be “given to hospitality.” We often speak of people with the gift of hospitality but, my friends, biblical hospitality is not a spiritual gift, given to just a few. Biblical hospitality is a responsibility, given to us all who name the name of Jesus Christ as Savior. In fact, the Greek word for “practicing” (Greek: dioko) means to pursue it with passion. It speaks of pressing forward with the idea of always getting better at it. All of us are to be pursuing getting better at biblical hospitality!

With this in mind, let me encourage us to open up our hands, hearts and our doors. Arrange for a small group to meet in homes…safely, of course…and gather to watch on-line services, study, pray, sing, worship, serve one another and to “stimulate one another to love and good deeds…encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25).  If you need our help, let us know.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
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