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Showing Love Through Hospitality

A devotional by Grace To You for reading on January 12th

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it” ( Hebrews 13:2 2 Forget not to show love unto strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. ).

Hospitality should be a trait of all Christians, because whenever we display it, we minister to the Lord.

If you are a Christian, your responsibility to love others does not stop with fellow believers. The apostle Paul is very explicit and direct about this: “See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all men” (1 Thess. 5:15). “All men” includes even your enemies. The “strangers” mentioned in today’s verse can refer to unbelievers as well as believers. The writer of Hebrews is saying we often won’t know the full impact hospitality will have; therefore, we should always be alert and diligent because our actions may even influence someone toward salvation.

The last part of Hebrews 13:2 2 Forget not to show love unto strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. , “some have entertained angels without knowing it,” further underscores the point that we can never know how significant or helpful an act of hospitality might be. Abraham had no idea that two of the three men passing by his tent were angels and that the third was the Lord Himself, but he still went out of his way to demonstrate hospitality (Gen. 18:1-5). The primary motivation is still love, for the sake of those we help and for the glory of God.

The Lord Jesus says, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me” (Matt. 25:40). As Christians, when we feed the hungry, take in the stranger, clothe the naked, and visit someone in prison, we serve Christ. If we turn our backs on people, believers or unbelievers, who have real needs, it is the same as turning our backs on Him (v. 45). Loving hospitality is therefore more than an option—it is a command.

Suggestions for Prayer

Pray that God would give you a greater desire to show hospitality and that you could minister it to a specific person.

For Further Study

Read Genesis 18:1-15 Chapter 18 1 And Jehovah appeared unto him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; 2 and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood over against him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself to the earth, 3 and said, My lord, if now I have found favor in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: 4 let now a little water be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: 5 and I will fetch a morsel of bread, and strengthen ye your heart; after that ye shall pass on: forasmuch as ye are come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said. 6 And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes. 7 And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetched a calf tender and good, and gave it unto the servant; and he hasted to dress it. 8 And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat. 9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent. 10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee when the season cometh round; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard in the tent door, which was behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, `and' well stricken in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. 12 And Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? 13 And Jehovah said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, who am old? 14 Is anything too hard for Jehovah? At the set time I will return unto thee, when the season cometh round, and Sarah shall have a son. 15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh. .

  • Write down the positive ways in which Abraham handled his opportunity to show love to strangers.
  • How well did Sarah handle this situation?
  • How does the example of her attitude relate to Hebrews 13:2 2 Forget not to show love unto strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. ?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.

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The content above belongs exclusively to Grace To You - Strength For Today and is provided on 1ST for purely non-profit purposes to help extend the reach of their ministry.

Copyright 2018 by John MacArthur. Used by permission from Grace to You.

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