Imitation to Christ's Hospitality
Epiphany MTC, NY.
9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10 love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. vs.:9
Apostle Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, emphasizes how salvation comes by faith in Christ's redemptive work on the cross and not by works of the law. However, in chapter 12 he outlines how to live a victorious Christian life. To live a life which is pleasing to God, Christians have to go through a process. This means that we have to renew our mind daily, not according to the ways of this world but according to God's Word. Paul pictures the Church as the body of Christ with many members and each member has unique gifts. The Church functions properly when its members exercise different spiritual gifts in a way that honors Christ. But it starts with an attitude of humility and love.
In today's Bible passage, Paul is giving practical ways to live a fruitful Christian life. He is stressing about the importance of sincere Love. The word " sincere" means, genuine, or without deceit. Christians should not merely pretend to love each other. Sincere love follows actions. Jesus gave a command to His disciples before leaving this earth. In John 13:34-35 Jesus says "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” When we have unconditional love, it will be easy for us to honor one another above ourselves. In Acts chapter 2: 44-46, we see that the early church members had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who was in need. They sincerely loved each other and served the Lord with their whole heart. True love gives us the ability to see others through the eyes of Christ and a willingness to provide for their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Paul is also exhorting the believers to practice hospitality. During Jesus' ministry, He and His disciples depended on the hospitality of others as they ministered, traveling from place to place. Likewise, we see early Christians also heavily depended on hospitality of others. As followers of Christ we demonstrate His love and compassion when we show hospitality, not only to fellow Christians but even more so to strangers and the less fortunate. By serving others, we serve Christ and we promote the advancement of His Kingdom.Through Adam's sin and disobedience, we were once strangers and were alienated from God's kingdom. God showed us His hospitality by paving the way through his son, Jesus, to welcome us back home. As disciples of Christ, let us imitate His hospitality.
PRAYERWe thank You for Your love towards us, even when we don't deserve it. Help us to love one another as You have loved us. Give us the grace to share and show hospitality to our fellow brothers as well as strangers and the less fortunate. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:"Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it." (Hebrews 13:2)