Daily Devotional

Be Hospitable

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

The context here is the ‘brotherly love’ we are to show to fellow believers in Christ. Showing
‘brotherly love’ means loving fellow believers as we would biological family members. Think
about it, what wouldn’t you do to help a family member? Nothing. The same should be true of
those who are part of the family of God. Back when Hebrews was written, God’s people were
being scattered because of persecution, so people would flee to areas of the country where they knew no one. And most of them were too poor to afford staying in an Inn. So they knew they could reach out to God’s people in that area, and they would be met with brotherly kindness and hospitality.

What does this verse mean when it says “some may have entertained angels without knowing
it”? It’s referring to the hospitality Abraham showed to mysterious visitors in Genesis 18-19.
Abraham didn’t know they were angels till later. The writer of Hebrews uses this passage to
exhort us saying: it’s better to entertain needy guests than run the risk of offending God by not
being hospitable to His servants.

Missionaries on home assignment travel from city to city. These people give selflessly over and
over again. Therefore believers should be quick to open their homes, offer a meal, and help
them any way they can.

Hospitality is so important that the Apostle Paul gives young Pastor Timothy a list of
qualifications for elders in the church, and in (1 Tim.3:2) you see the word ‘hospitable’. Elders
are to be mature believers. And mature believers are hospitable.

Showing brotherly love to others must be expressed by our actions, not just our words. It’s
opening our home. It’s offering a meal. It's sharing our possessions. Through action we show
our love for one another and for God.

(3 Jn.5-8) “Beloved, you are acting faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brethren, and
especially when they are strangers; and they have testified to your love before the church. You
will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. For they went out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support such men, so that we may be fellow workers with the truth.”

Can you be involved in missionary work and never leave the country? Absolutely. There are
those who ‘go’, and there are those who ‘send’. And as a person who ‘sends’ you are on the
support side of missionary work. When missionaries are on home assignment and pass through our area, your home is always available. When missionaries have needs overseas, you
respond. Maybe it’s Christmas, so you send them a special gift. Maybe you hear of a health
need, so you pray for them. Maybe you hear they’re running short on support, so you give
money to them.

(Rom.12:13) [We need to be] “contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.”

Is it possible that in the process of showing brotherly love through hospitality to our brothers and sisters in Christ that you could entertain an angel? Absolutely. But whether or not they’re angels isn’t our concern, it’s that we’re faithful to God’s call to be hospitable. So let’s have an attitude of warmth and generosity to our fellow believers, because after all, they’re family!

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
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