Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Share, Pursue Hospitality, and Overcome Evil with Good

- "Contribute to the needs of the saints."--We are to provide for/share with our brothers and sisters in Christ who are in need. "As we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers." (Galatians 6:10)
- "Seek to show hospitality." Literally (from the original Greek words) meaning pursue love to strangers. We should always seek the opportunities to be actively hospitable and show the love of Christ to others (including strangers). Be ready to welcome to our homes those whom God sends our way. This may be to listen and chat over a cup of coffee or tea, or to share a meal or to provide someone a place to stay for a night or a week or a month (or as long as God directs). Make your home a place where people can gather and where you serve them and help them feel loved, accepted, and welcome. I'm so thankful that the Lord has given my family and me opportunities to open up our home (which is His home anyway, not really ours) for dinner & Bible Study for international students, ministry meetings, homeschool moms' meetings, holiday gatherings, parties, foreign exchange students, etc. We Christians should have a disposition to happily open our hearts, hands, and homes. Our lifestyle of hospitality is an extension of our sincere, devoted love. "Love must be sincere...Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves." (Romans 12:9a, 10) "Hospitality is what generosity looks like in a relationship." (Benjamin L. Corey) By the way, both my husband and I are introverts and like our privacy but we love God and people more than our comfort zone :).
"Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling." (1 Peter 4:9)"Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it." (Hebrews 13:2) 

- "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Do not let evil influence you in any way. Do not let evil occupy your hearts and mind. Do not become enraged and engage in strife and contention. We must not allow the evil done to us by other people to overcome us. And we must not allow ourselves to be overcome by our own evil responses, either. Instead, we must influence/ subdue/conquer evil with goodness. Shine your light when you meet darkness. Share God's love when you face hatred. Do good when evil is done to you. Choose love, grace, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, prudence, and self-control, no matter what. Choose to suffer evil rather than do evil. "Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing." (1 Peter 3:9) Win over wickedness with wisdom from Heaven which is "first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere" (James 3:17).
"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse...Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: 'It is Mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord. On the contrary: 'If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink." (Romans 12:14, 17-20a) "The infliction of vengeance is not a sign of strength, but of weakness. To repress the desire for revenge is to gain a victory over self, which is not only nobler in itself, but will also be much more effectual. It will disarm the enemy, and turn him into a friend." (Ellicott)
I will never let another man ruin my life by making me hate him.” (George Washington Carver)

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