Love in the Church—Hospitality (continued)
“Distributing to the
necessity of saints; given to hospitality.” Romans 12:13.
Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 524–536; Christ’s
Object Lessons, 376–389.
“Our work in this world is to live for
others’ good, to bless others, to be hospitable; and frequently it may be only
at some inconvenience that we can entertain those who really need our care and
the benefit of our society and our homes.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 645.
1 When weary of His labors, where did
Jesus often find rest? Luke 10:38–42.
Note: “At the home of Lazarus, Jesus had
often found rest. The Saviour had no home of His own; He was dependent on the
hospitality of His friends and disciples, and often, when weary, thirsting for
human fellowship, He had been glad to escape to this peaceful household, away from the suspicion and jealousy of the angry Pharisees. Here
He found a sincere welcome, and pure, holy friendship. Here He could speak with
simplicity and perfect freedom, knowing that His words would be understood and
treasured.” The Desire
of Ages, 524.
2 How was Lazarus benefited by the
greatest miracle of Jesus? John 11:1–5; 38–44.
Note: “It was for Lazarus that the greatest
of Christ’s miracles was performed. The Saviour blessed all who sought His
help; He loves all the human family, but to some He is bound by peculiarly
tender associations. His heart was knit by a strong bond of affection to the
family at Bethany, and for one of them His most wonderful work was wrought.” The Desire of Ages, 524.
Lydia had received the truth, how did she put her home to the service of the
Lord? Acts 16:14, 15.
Note: “God opened the ears of Lydia, so that
she attended to the message spoken by Paul. To declare the whole counsel of God
and all that was essential for Lydia to receive—this was the part Paul was to
act in her conversion; and then the God of all grace exercised His power,
leading the soul in the right way.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary,
vol. 6, 1062.
4 After having suffered cruel persecution, where did Paul and
Silas find relief? Acts 16:40.
Note: “Acting upon the instruction given by
Christ, the apostles would not urge their presence where it was not desired.
‘They went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when
they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.’ [Acts 16:40.]” The Acts of the Apostles,
5 Lydia warmly welcomed the apostles. Whom
else should we welcome as God’s heritage in need of refuge? I
Timothy 4:12 first part; Jude 21–23.
Note: “Our homes should be a place of refuge
for the tempted youth. Many there are who stand at the parting of the ways.
Every influence, every impression, is determining the choice that shapes their
destiny both here and hereafter. Evil invites them. Its resorts are made bright
and attractive. They have a welcome for every comer. All about us are youth who
have no home, and many whose homes have no helpful, uplifting power, and the
youth drift into evil. They are going down to ruin within the very shadow of
our own doors.
youth need a hand stretched out to them in sympathy. Kind words simply spoken,
little attentions simply bestowed, will sweep away the clouds of temptation
which gather over the soul. The true expression of heaven-born sympathy has
power to open the door of hearts that need the fragrance of Christ-like words,
and the simple, delicate touch of the spirit of Christ’s love. If we would show
an interest in the youth, invite them to our homes, and surround them with
cheering, helpful influences, there are many who would gladly turn their steps
into the upward path.” The
Ministry of Healing, 354, 355.
persecuted by his own countrymen, where did Paul find hospitality? Acts 28:1, 2, 7.
Note: “The shipwrecked crew
were kindly received by the barbarous people of Melita.
… Paul was among those who were active in ministering to the comfort of
others.” The Acts of
the Apostles, 445.
7 How were all
the company at Melita blessed by Paul’s stay? Acts 28:8–10.
Note: “During the three months that the
ship’s company remained at Melita, Paul and his
fellow laborers improved many opportunities to preach the gospel. In a
remarkable manner the Lord wrought through them. For Paul’s sake the entire shipwrecked
company were treated with great kindness; all their
wants were supplied, and upon leaving Melita they
were liberally provided with everything needful for their voyage.” The Acts of the Apostles,
8 How useful is hospitality for
spreading the gospel? Luke 14:12–14.
Note: “Our social entertainments should not
be governed by the dictates of worldly custom, but by the Spirit of Christ and
the teaching of His word. … How much such a welcome might do to cheer and
encourage the missionary nurse or the teacher, the care-burdened, hard-working
mother, or the feeble and aged, so often without a home, and struggling with
poverty and many discouragements. …
are guests whom it will lay on you no great burden to receive. You will not
need to provide for them elaborate or expensive entertainment. You will need to
make no effort at display. The warmth of a genial welcome, a place at your
fireside, a seat at your home table, the privilege of sharing the blessing of
the hour of prayer, would to many of these be like a
glimpse of heaven.
sympathies are to overflow the boundaries of self and the enclosure of family
walls. There are precious opportunities for those who will make their homes a
blessing to others. Social influence is a wonderful power. We can use it if we
will as a means of helping those about us.” The
Ministry of Healing, 352–354.
9 How did
Christ answer a lawyer’s question about how to inherit eternal life? Luke
Note: “The lawyer was not satisfied with the
position and works of the Pharisees. He had been studying the scriptures with a
desire to learn their real meaning. He had a vital interest in the matter, and
he asked in sincerity, ‘What shall I do?’ [Luke 10:25.] In his answer as to the
requirements of the law, he passed by all the mass of ceremonial and
ritualistic precepts. For these he claimed no value, but presented the two
great principles on which hang all the law and the prophets. The Saviour’s commendation of this answer placed Him on vantage
ground with the rabbis. They could not condemn Him for sanctioning that which
had been advanced by an expositor of the law.
“ ‘This do, and thou shalt live,’ [Luke 10:28.] Christ said.
In His teaching He ever presented the law as a divine unity, showing that it is
impossible to keep one precept and break another; for the same principle runs
through all. Man’s destiny will be determined by his obedience to the whole
law.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 377,
10 What was
the next question the lawyer presented to Jesus, and what answer did he
receive? Luke 10:29–37.
Note: “The lawyer knew that he had kept
neither the first four nor the last six commandments. He was convicted under
Christ’s searching words, but instead of confessing his sin he tried to excuse
it. Rather than acknowledge the truth, he endeavored to show how difficult of
fulfillment the commandment is. Thus he hoped both to parry conviction and to
vindicate himself in the eyes of the people. The Saviour’s
words had shown that his question was needless, since he was able to answer it
himself. Yet he put another question, saying, ‘Who is my neighbour?’
Christ refused to be drawn into controversy. He answered the question by
relating an incident, the memory of which was fresh in the minds of His
priest and the Levite both professed piety, but the Samaritan showed that he
was truly converted. It was no more agreeable for him to do the work than for
the priest and the Levite, but in spirit and works he proved himself to be in
harmony with God.” Christ’s Object
11 In what
sense does the story of the good Samaritan illustrate
the work of Christ on earth? Acts 10:38.
Note: “In the story of the good Samaritan,
Jesus gave a picture of Himself and His mission. Man had been deceived,
bruised, robbed, and ruined by Satan, and left to perish; but the Saviour had
compassion on our helpless condition. He left His glory, to come to our rescue.
He found us ready to die, and He undertook our case. He healed our wounds. He
covered us with His robe of righteousness. He opened to us a refuge of safety,
and made complete provision for us at His own charges.” The Desire of Ages, 503, 504.
12 How will
the true followers of Christ act toward those who need help? Galatians
Note: “Sin is the greatest of all evils, and
it is ours to pity and help the sinner. There are many who err, and who feel
their shame and their folly. They are hungry for words of encouragement. They
look upon their mistakes and errors, until they are driven almost to
desperation. These souls we are not to neglect. If we are Christians, we shall
not pass by on the other side, keeping as far as possible from the very ones
who most need our help. When we see human beings in distress, whether through
affliction or through sin, we shall never say, This
does not concern me.
which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit
of meekness.’ Galatians 6:1. By faith and prayer press back the power of the
enemy. Speak words of faith and courage that will be as a healing balsam to the
bruised and wounded one. Many, many, have fainted and become discouraged in the
great struggle of life, when one word of kindly cheer would have strengthened
them to overcome. Never should we pass by one suffering soul without seeking to
impart to him of the comfort wherewith we are comforted of God.” The Desire of Ages, 504,
widow of Zarephath shared her morsel with Elijah, and
in return her life and that of her son were preserved. And to all who, in time
of trial and want, give sympathy and assistance to others more
needy, God has promised great blessing. He has not changed. His power is
no less now than in the days of Elijah. No less sure now than when spoken by
our Saviour is the promise, ‘He that receiveth a
prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward.’ Matthew 10:41.
“ ‘Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some
have entertained angels unawares.’ Hebrews 13:2. These words have lost none of
their force through the lapse of time. Our heavenly Father still continues to
place in the pathway of His children opportunities that are blessings in
disguise; and those who improve these opportunities find great joy. ‘If thou
draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy
light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: and the Lord shall
guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy
bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water,
whose waters fail not.’ Isaiah 58:10, 11.
His faithful servants today Christ says, ‘He that receiveth
you receiveth Me, and he
that receiveth Me receiveth
Him that sent Me.’ No act of kindness shown in His name will fail to be recognized
and rewarded. And in the same tender recognition Christ includes even the
feeblest and lowliest of the family of God. ‘Whosoever shall give to drink,’ He
says, ‘unto one of these little ones’—those who are as children in their faith
and their knowledge of Christ—‘a cup of cold water only in the name of a
disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.’ Matthew
10:40, 42.” Prophets
and Kings, 131, 132.
religion and undefiled before the Father is this: ‘To
visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself
unspotted from the world.’ [James 1:27.] Good deeds are the fruit that Christ
requires us to bear: kind words, deeds of benevolence, of tender regard for the
poor, the needy, the afflicted. When hearts sympathize
with hearts burdened with discouragement and grief, when the hand dispenses to
the needy, when the naked are clothed, the stranger made welcome to a seat in
your parlor and a place in your heart, angels are coming very near, and an
answering strain is responded to in heaven. Every act of justice, mercy, and
benevolence makes melody in heaven. The Father from His throne beholds those
who do these acts of mercy, and numbers them with His most precious treasures.
‘And they shall be Mine, saith
the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels.’ [Malachi 3:17.] Every
merciful act to the needy, the suffering, is regarded as though done to Jesus.
When you succor the poor, sympathize with the afflicted and oppressed, and
befriend the orphan, you bring yourselves into a closer relationship to Jesus.”