We’re continuing through the book of Romans, looking at the walk of maturity.
Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
The first half of this verse has an interesting construction. It actually reads; as to the needs of the saints, sharing.
Think about it. Needs – we all have them. When we talk about meeting peoples needs, our first thoughts usually go toward money. There are plenty of places in Scripture that talk about financial needs. But, this verse is talking about more than that.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
We must be prepared to give more than just money. What about a word of grace from our lips? There are many people who could use that word of encouragement.
What about those who are in need of healing? There are also many who need fellowship, guidance, or one of many other kinds of help we could give.
So, what do we do when we see the needs of others in the body of Christ? The Greek word used in this verse for sharing is koinonia. It literally means to be in partnership.
I’ve found that, in this generation, we really don’t understand what partnership is all about. It’s the realization that we all have a part to play in each others lives. It’s a very powerful part of our Christian relationships.
I believe that it’s a perception problem. Sometimes we simply view church as a place where we meet together. Instead, we should understand that it’s an organism that we’re a part of. It’s about more than just our stuff. It’s sharing who we are.
The church of the Philippians is a great example of this.
Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only;
Paul commended them for their partnership in the Gospel. They were a blessing to Paul and helped to reach those in other parts of the world. But, they also received a blessing.
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Most don’t realize that this is specifically a promise for partners. We are partners in the work that God is doing. It’s like the flow of blood in the human body. That’s how blessings flow through the body of Christ.
Then, along with this, we’re told to practice hospitality. The verse literally says to pursue the love of strangers. That means love those who are very different from you. This is not the only place we’re told to do this.
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:9-10
It’s a way of giving out God’s grace to others. Why are we having church, if we’re not practicing hospitality? Of course, this also comes with a blessing.
Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.
The fact is that we don’t always know everything that’s going on in the spirit. It won’t be until we’re in God’s presence when we find out all of the effects that our partnership and hospitality had on the world.
Question: How have you practiced these qualities recently?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi