Being hospitable, which the dictionary defines as "given to generous and cordial reception of guests," is something Christians are commanded to do.
1 PETER 4:8-10 NKJ
8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins."
9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.
10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
ROMANS 12:10,13 NKJ
10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;
13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
Leaders Set The Example
1 TIMOTHY 3:2 NKJ
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, soberminded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;
TITUS 1:7-8 NKJ
7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,
8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled,
Church leaders are to set a good example by showing hospitality, which all believers should follow.
To be hospitable means to be fond of guests. To do that you must love people and desire to help them.
Of course, love is the distinguishing mark of a true follower of Jesus Christ.
JOHN 13:34-35 NKJ
34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
35 "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
The Greek word translated hospitable is the same Greek word we translate as entertain strangers in Hebrews 13:2.
In the Bible the word stranger usually means a foreigner -- someone from another country or culture. It literally means someone alien, or different.
Most people find it much easier to show hospitality to those like themselves. But the Bible makes it clear we should show love in practical ways especially to those from other countries.
You may be the only Christian they ever come in contact with. So, they may judge Jesus Christ by how you act toward them.
MATTHEW 25:41-45 NKJ
41 "Then He will also say to those on the left hand, `Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 `for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;
43 `I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.'
44 "Then they also will answer Him, saying, `Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?'
45 "Then He will answer them, saying, `Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'
1 TIMOTHY 5:9-10 NKJ
9 Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man,
10 well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints' feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.
3 JOHN 1:5-6 NKJ
5 Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers,
6 who have borne witness of your love before the church. If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well,
HEBREWS 13:2 NKJ
2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.
It is natural for most people to help their friends -- people who are like them. That is why the Bible specifically tells us to show hospitality even to strangers -- who are not like us.
Help The Helpless
LUKE 14:12-14 NKJ
12 Then He also said to him who invited Him, "When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor your rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid.
13 "But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.
14 "And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just."
It is not wrong to be nice to the people you know and like. But God appreciates it when you help others -- and He will reward you for it.
Go to BELIEVE! Papers List
Go to Believers Home Page