Romans 12:13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
In the spring of 2010 when the greater Nashville area experienced severe flooding, the churches played a huge role in bringing relief and assistance to those who were victims of the flood. Some areas received as much as 26 inches of rain in 36 hours. The motivation of the churches wasn’t to receive recognition; it was a spontaneous response to the obvious crisis that descended upon this region.
While applicable to major disasters, today’s verse particularly speaks to the needs we Christians have in our daily lives. It speaks to us about the importance of being aware of the needs in the lives of Christians around us and helping to meet them. Widows, the unemployed, the sick, those in financial distress, family crises, accidents, the hungry, – the list of needs goes on. The Lord wants to use us to meet the needs of one another. This is another powerful attribute that must characterize who we are
Last week we began looking at the verses starting with Romans 12:9. They contain a list of righteous attributes that identify God’s people. In order for the church to be what God intends it to be, these attributes must characterize it. That means they must characterize us!
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
I have underlined the phrases that form a consistent thread running through these verses. They are all other-oriented – and all positive in nature. They reflect Christians loving one another in practical, useful ways. They reflect the body of Christ living out a lifestyle that is most attractive; a lifestyle of salt and light. Such lives will cause people to become thirsty for God.
Unfortunately we allow our lives to become self-oriented. We allow the business of life to deprive us of rich opportunities to bless and be blessed – to see and become aware of needs in other Christians’ lives, and to help meet them. One example of this: instead of extending hospitality to others, we assume they prefer a motel – thus missing the blessings hospitality bestows. The more we do these things, the better and richer it becomes for us and those around us. May our lives richly reflect these wonderful attributes that glorify our Lord.