April 2 | Bible in a Year: Judges 13–15; Luke 6:27–49
Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
READ 1 Peter 4:7–11
The caller to the Christian radio station said that his wife was coming home from the hospital following surgery. Then he shared something that spoke deeply to my heart: “Everyone in our church family has been so helpful in taking care of us during this time.”
When I heard this simple statement, it reminded me of the value and necessity of Christian hospitality and care. I began to think that the love and support of fellow believers for one another is one of the greatest ways to demonstrate the life-changing power of the gospel.
In First Peter, the apostle was writing a letter to be circulated among the first-century churches in what’s now the country of Turkey. In that letter, he compelled his readers to do something that his friend Paul wrote about in Romans 12:13: “Practice hospitality.” Peter said, “Love each other deeply . . . offer hospitality,” and he told them to use the gifts God gave them to “serve others” (1 Peter 4:8–10). These are clear directions to all believers in Jesus for how we’re to treat fellow believers.
All of us know people like that caller’s wife—those who need someone to come alongside and show concern and Christlike love. In God’s strength, may we be among the ones who are noted for being “so helpful.”
By Dave Branon
REFLECT & PRAY
What has God equipped you to do for those in need? How has God revealed His own hospitable nature?
Loving God, help me to look around for people who need an encouraging word or action from me. Then help me offer hospitality to them.
In 1 Peter 4:10–11, Peter briefly mentions the value of spiritual gifts, a topic Paul discusses more fully in Romans 12:4–8 and 1 Corinthians 12–14. Romans 12 gives what some scholars view as a sampling (as opposed to an exhaustive catalog) of spiritual gifts. In 1 Corinthians 12–14, Paul lists many of those same gifts, but adds several others. The main feature of 1 Corinthians 12, however, is that it provides the primary purpose of gifts: “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good” (v. 7). Notice the phrase “for the common good.” Our gifts aren’t for us; they’re for one another. When all the members of the body are using their gifts, all members of the body are being served well.