Blessing Others

Romans 12:13 NET - Contribute to the needs of the saints [other Christians], pursue hospitality.

Romans 12:13 gives two strength training principles to help us live strong as Christians:  generosity and hospitality.  Perfecting these Christlike qualities helps us demonstrate love for one another.  In terms of contributing to the needs of other Christians, this can be done in a number of ways; however, giving to where your local church family gathers should always be at the top of the list.  Why?  Because humanity’s greatest need is spiritual.  Our spiritual needs are chiefly addressed through the irreplaceable vehicle known as the local church.  Listening to podcasts, live streaming or archived services, reading religious books or articles, or other “spiritual food” sources are great supplements, but they are not sufficient nor were they intended to replace the life-giving organism that is the local church.  The local church is non-negotiable in terms of practicing the 57 “one another” commands in the New Testament, not to mention loving accountability partnerships, etc.  Giving to the local church contributes to the spiritual needs of the saints - including our need as givers who pour into our local faith community.  However, there is an abundance of Scripture about giving generously to the poor, and particularly the poor who are fellow Christians.  Giving aid to our legitimately poor brothers and sisters (as opposed to enabling the irresponsibly foolish) is true Biblical faith. Fortunately for us in America, there are relatively few who are stricken with the depth of poverty that much of the developing world experiences. However, if you seek to know the state of the global poor through missionaries and various aid ministries, opportunities abound to contribute a monthly amount or occasional gifts to fellow believers who are suffering horribly from famine, drought, lack of medical care, lack of drinking water, disease, warfare, persecution, human trafficking, and from being orphaned.  (See lccsalinas.org resource page for a just few recommendations.)   You may also choose to help fund entrepreneurial businesses for some fellow believers among the global poor.    Since there has been no greater vehicle to lift more people out of poverty than free market capitalism, funding and encouraging such business creation is an option to help the truly poor in a way that blesses them with a greater sense of dignity.  Contributions to local food banks, local church benevolence fund, or gifts to children who may lack a healthy home environment are just a few ways to help meet more local needs.  Financial giving is only one facet of blessing othersmentioned in Romans 12:13 - the other is hospitality.

1 Peter 4:8-9 NASB - Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Be hospitable to one another without complaint.

In context, Peter describes hospitality (without grumbling or complaining about it) as one of the chief expressions of how we may maintain fervent love for one another.  Hospitality builds greater relationships within the body of Christ, which strengthens and grows the whole Church.  Even Romans 12:13 indicates that showing hospitality contributes to the needs of other Christians.  In the early church, this may have been primarily met their physical needs whereas today it may contribute more to emotional needs.  Regardless, Paul encourages the church to “pursue” hospitality - actively seek opportunities to make hospitality your practice.  It is blessing others, and loving one another.  Who in the church (outside of your normal circle of acquaintances) comes to mind as you think about showing hospitality?  Are there singles who would appreciate the opportunity to hang out?  Are there newer disciples that need to experience the life-giving ministry of your hospitality?  Ask God to bring specific people to mind.