In fact, Scripture says, “God proves His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”
This is truly good news full of hope and promise. It is only fitting that those who share this good news with others should exhibit acts of kindness while speaking words of grace. Hospitality, and the use of personal resources, should characterise the life of a Christian. In Matthew 10:42 we read: “And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”
Sometimes, the smallest act of human kindness produces the greatest effects, and opens doors for the gospel. Giving a cup of cold water on a hot day may open a door to share the love of God with another person.
Beginning with a gift, an open heart or an open home can gain access to the heart of another. If the gospel is anything, it is hospitable; at least, it should be.
I remember once when Margaret Taylor, wife of Ken Taylor (who developed The Living Bible), told me, “If you can only be hospitable when everything is set up perfectly, you will not be hospitable with any frequency.”
She also used to say: “Always be ready to show hospitality; the need may occur more often than you had time to prepare; therefore, always be ready.” Furthermore, Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
In the New Testament there are many examples of the hospitable gospel at work. Saul of Tarsus came to the city of Damascus to arrest Christians and bring them to Jerusalem to face trial and possible execution. God had other plans for Saul and encountered him on the Damascus road.
You know the story. God told his servant Ananias to go to Saul. Ananias wasn’t too excited about this assignment, but he went to Saul, even with fear in his heart, because God told him to “get up and go.” God commanded hospitality and Ananias took him food. As Saul was with the disciples in Damascus, they demonstrated hospitality to him and nurtured him in his new faith.
What do we learn from this? Food, resources, time, and our own homes are all useful tools for kingdom work.
Dr Jerry Root,