THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 8-17-14

LESSON TITLE: “BE HOSPITABLE TO ONE ANOTHER.”

WELCOME

TODAY WE ARE BLESSED WITH A WONDERFUL GIFT FROM GOD, THE BIBLE. THIS BOOK IS GOD'S LIVING WORD. IN ITS PAGES WE ARE TOLD “FOR THE WORD OF GOD IS LIVING AND POWERFUL AND SHARPER THAN ANY TWO-EDGED SWORD.” IT IS IN THIS BOOK OF BOOKS THAT WE FIND THE ANSWERS TO ALL OF MAN'S QUESTIONS AND NEEDS. THIS MORNING YOUR AREA CHURCHES OF CHRIST WELCOME YOU TO A PROGRAM COMMITTED TO THAT PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY. AS WE PRESENT THE LIVING WORD. NOW HERE IS YOUR HOST RAY SULLINS.

GREETINGS TO ALL IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. LET ME THANK EACH OF YOU FOR JOINING US THIS MORNING - WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM. TODAY WE HAVE THE PRIVILEGE TO ONCE AGAIN ASSEMBLE BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD. IN THIS TIME OF WORSHIP WE WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SING SONGS OF PRAISE AND TO STUDY FROM HIS WORD. MAY WE EACH DO OUR PART IN PRAISING GOD ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, AS WE MAKE THESE SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS TOWARD HIS THRONE. NOW AS WE BEGIN TALKING TO OUR GOD, WILL YOU BOW WITH ME IN PRAYER!

PRAYER: OUR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS DAY AND THE MANY GREAT BLESSINGS OF LIFE. THE PRIVILEGE THAT WE HAVE TO KNOW THAT YOU GIVE US ALL PHYSICAL THINGS THAT WE HAVE NEED OF, AS WELL AS ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS. AND FATHER, WE KNOW THAT IT'S ONLY BECAUSE OF YOU THAT WE'RE ABLE TO SURVIVE AND TO LIVE IN THIS LIFE, TO BE ABLE TO MAKE ENDS MEET, AND TO ACCOMPLISH THE THINGS THAT WE NEED TO. AND THEREFORE FATHER, WE THANK YOU AND WE ASK THAT YOU'LL ALWAYS BE WITH US. THAT WE MIGHT BE PROFITABLE IN THIS LIFE FOR YOUR SAKE UNTO YOUR GLORY KNOWING THAT IN DOING SUCH AND BEING FOUND FAITHFUL IN YOUR SIGHT WE'LL RECEIVE THE GREAT PROMISES AND REWARDS WE READ ABOUT IN YOUR WORD. THANK YOU FOR THE GIFT OF JESUS AND THE SACRIFICE HE MADE ON THE CROSS AND THE BLOOD THAT HE SHED. IN HIS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.

THIS MORNING WE WANT TO BEGIN OUR SONGS OF PRAISE WITH A HYMN WHICH CHALLENGES US TO STAY IN THE WAY OF GOD, THAT WE MIGHT BE FOUND PLEASING IN HIS SIGHT! SO, WON’T YOU JOIN IN WITH THE CONGREGATION AT THIS TIME AS WE SING TOGETHER, “THE GLORYLAND WAY!”

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT WE ARE ALREADY HALF WAY THROUGH THIS YEAR, CAN YOU? THIS YEAR IS FLYING BY, AS MOST OTHERS SEEM TO DO. HOWEVER, DO WE REALLY EVER TAKE THE TIME TO REALIZE JUST HOW BLESSED WE ARE BY GOD TO HAVE EACH AND EVERY DAY? USUALLY IT TAKES A GREAT TRAGEDY OR SICKNESS TO WAKE US UP TO THIS FACT. BUT YOU KNOW, I WISH WE WOULD JUST TAKE A LITTLE MORE TIME TO BE THANKFUL FOR AND TO APPRECIATE EACH DAY OF LIFE.

ALL OF THIS MAKES ME THINK OF ANOTHER VERY SPECIAL DAY WHICH WE NEED TO REJOICE IN AS WELL. HOW MANY OF US TAKE FOR GRANTED THE WEEKLY OPPORTUNITY WE HAVE TO GATHER TOGETHER ON THE LORD’S DAY. AS WE ALL KNOW, GOD COMMANDS US TO GATHER AS HIS FOLLOWERS TO WORSHIP AND PRAISE HIS NAME. IN FACT, WHY WOULD WE WANT TO BE ANYWHERE ELSE ON THE LORD’S DAY THAN BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD, IN PRAISE TO OUR CREATOR.

THE BIBLE IS FULL OF EXHORTATIONS ABOUT THIS MATTER. IN FACT, IN HEBREWS 10:23-25, WE READ, “LET US HOLD FAST THE CONFESSION OF OUR HOPE WITHOUT WAVERING, FOR HE WHO PROMISED IS FAITHFUL. AND LET US CONSIDER ONE ANOTHER IN ORDER TO STIR UP LOVE AND GOOD WORKS, NOT FORSAKING THE ASSEMBLING OF OURSELVES TOGETHER, AS IS THE MANNER OF SOME, BUT EXHORTING ONE ANOTHER, AND SO MUCH THE MORE AS YOU SEE THE DAY APPROACHING.” HERE WE HAVE A DISCUSSION ABOUT FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE, BUT NOTICE WHERE IT ALL ENDS UP. THE WRITER SAYS ONE OF OUR GOOD WORKS WHICH DEMONSTRATES THESE THINGS IS OUR FAITHFUL ATTENDANCE.

BRETHREN AND FRIENDS, WHERE DO I GET A BETTER OPPORTUNITY TO WORSHIP GOD THAN WHEN ASSEMBLED WITH MY FELLOW BRETHREN? OR WHEN DO I HAVE A GREATER CHANCE TO RECEIVE EDIFICATION OR TRAINING IN THE LORD. THE REALITY IS WE NEED OUR TIME OF COLLECTIVE WORSHIP MORE THAN GOD DOES - BECAUSE IT GIVES US THE STRENGTH AND ABILITY WE NEED TO MAKE IT THROUGH ANOTHER WEEK. IT GIVES US THE SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE TO DO EVEN MORE IN THE SERVICE OF OUR GOD. AND IT GIVES US THE DESIRE AND ZEAL TO ACCOMPLISH WHAT WE KNOW WE MUST TO GOD’S GLORY.

ARE YOU WORSHIPING GOD ON A WEEKLY BASIS WITH HIS PEOPLE AS HE HAS COMMANDED YOU TO? ARE YOU WILLING TO GIVE THIS TIME TO HIM TO PROVE YOUR TRUE LOVE, REVERENCE AND OBEDIENCE TO HIS WILL. HOW MUCH TIME ARE YOU WILLING TO GIVE TO YOUR CREATOR?

TODAY WE WILL CONTINUE OUR SERIES OF STUDY ENTITLED, “EVERYONE WHO LOVES IS BORN OF GOD?” OUR LESSON OF THE DAY WILL FOCUS ON THE STATEMENT OF PETER, “BE HOSPITABLE TO ONE ANOTHER!” SO PLEASE STAY WITH US AND AFTER OUR NEXT SONG TOGETHER, I WILL BE LEADING OUR MAIN THOUGHTS FROM GOD’S WORD. NOW LET’S JOIN TOGETHER IN OUR SECOND SONG OF THE MORNING, THE NAME OF THE HYMN, “STEPPING IN THE LIGHT!”

LESSON

BY RAY SULLINS

WE'RE SO GLAD YOU CONTINUE WITH US NOW AND WE WANT TO BEGIN IN GENESIS CHAPTER 18 THIS MORNING AS WE CONSIDER OUR NEXT LESSON TOGETHER. IN THE BOOK OF GENESIS CHAPTER 18 YOU MIGHT RECALL THAT IT IS HERE THAT ABRAHAM IS REMINDED OF THE FACT THAT GOD'S GOING TO BLESS HIM WITH A SON OF PROMISE. AND WITHIN THIS STORY WE ACTUALLY SEE THAT HE HAS SOME VISITORS THAT SHOW UP. AND IN VERSE TWO, IT SAYS THAT HE LOOKS UP AND HE SEES WITH HIS EYES SOME MEN, THREE MEN IN FACT, WHO ARE APPROACHING HIM FROM A DISTANCE AND HE IMMEDIATELY RUNS TO THEM. AND IT TELLS US IN VERSE 2 AS WELL THAT HE BOWS DOWN BEFORE THEM ON THE GROUND. AND THEN HE MAKES A REQUEST OF THEM, IF YOU MIGHT NOTICE WITH ME IN VERSE 4. HE SAYS, “PLEASE LET A LITTLE WATER BE BROUGHT AND WASH YOUR FEET AND REST YOURSELVES UNDER THE TREE.” AND THEN HE SAYS, “I'LL BRING YOU EVEN FOOD THAT YOU MIGHT EAT OR BREAD THAT YOU MIGHT EAT.” AND THEN IN VERSE SIX IT ACTUALLY CLARIFIES THAT ABRAHAM HIMSELF WENT INTO THE TENT TO SARAH AND SAID, “QUICKLY MAKE READY THREE MEASURES OF FINE MEAL KNEADED AND MAKE CAKES.” AND THEN HE RAN TO THE HERD, IN ORDER THAT HE MIGHT GET MEAT TO FEED THEM. AND THEN HE ACTUALLY, IT SAYS, TOOK BUTTER AND MILK (IN VERSE EIGHT) FROM THE CALF, WHICH HAD BEEN PREPARED AND HE GAVE IT TO THEM THAT THEY MIGHT EAT.

I BEGIN HERE WITH ABRAHAM BECAUSE IT'S REALLY SIGNIFICANT THAT ABRAHAM WAS WILLING TO SHOW HOSPITALITY, EVEN TO STRANGERS. AND I WANT YOU TO NOTICE WHAT WAS INVOLVED WITHIN HIS HOSPITALITY. HE WAS SOMEONE WHO WAS WILLING TO SEE STRANGERS AND TO SEE OBVIOUSLY THAT THEY WOULD THEN HAVE A NEED TO HAVE THEIR FEET WASHED. AS WELL TO HAVE FOOD, THAT THEY MIGHT CONTINUE ON THEIR JOURNEY. THAT THEIR ANIMALS MIGHT NEED WATER. HE UNDERSTOOD THAT THERE WAS A NEED THAT THESE STRANGERS, OR THAT THESE INDIVIDUALS, WOULD HAVE AND HE IMMEDIATELY MET THOSE NEEDS. NOT ONLY IN A PASSIVE WAY BUT IN A VERY ZEALOUS AND VIGOROUS WAY. HE WAS EXCITED TO BE ABLE TO SHOW THE LOVE OF GOD TO OTHERS.

IT DOESN'T JUST STOP THERE BUT WE REALLY COULD TURN OVER JUST TO THE NEXT CHAPTER ( 19 ) AND WE FIND HERE THAT THE STORY OF LOT IS INVOLVED IN THIS SECTION. AND IN THAT STORY YOU MIGHT REMEMBER WITH ME AS WELL A TIME, AS LOT WAS IN SODOM, THAT HE HAS SOME VISITORS AS WELL. AND THERE IN VERSE 2 OF CHAPTER 19 FOR INSTANCE, HE SAYS THAT THEY SHOULD COME IN AND THAT HE WOULD CARE FOR THEM. IN OTHER WORDS, TO SHOW HOSPITALITY. IT'S ALSO SIGNIFICANT THAT THE FIRST THING THAT HE SAYS IS THAT I MIGHT BE ABLE TO WASH YOUR FEET AND THAT I MIGHT BE ABLE TO HELP CARE FOR YOU, THAT YOU MIGHT IN THE MORNING GO ON YOUR WAY SAFELY. BUT THEN IN VERSE THREE IT SAYS HE INSISTED VERY STRONGLY THAT THEY WOULD COME INTO HIS HOUSE THAT HE MIGHT CARE FOR THEM. ABRAHAM, NO DOUBT BEING THE UNCLE AND MORE LIKE PROBABLY A FATHER TO LOT, CERTAINLY HAD TAUGHT LOT ABOUT HOSPITALITY. THAT GOD EXPECTS US TO BE PEOPLE OF HOSPITALITY, WHETHER WE KNOW WHO WE ARE BEING HOSPITABLE TO OR WHETHER WE ARE NOT SURE OF WHO WE'RE BEING HOSPITABLE TO. AND THE FACT THAT WE REALLY DON'T KNOW THEM AT ALL. OR EVEN IF WE ARE TO BE HOSPITABLE TO THOSE WHOM THE BIBLE SAYS ARE OUR ENEMIES.

IF YOU THINK ABOUT THAT OUR OVERALL THEME THAT WE'VE BEEN CONSIDERING, WE'VE BEEN LOOKING TOGETHER AT THE FACT THAT EVERYONE WHO LOVES IS BORN OF GOD. AND SO WE'VE BEEN LOOKING AT DIFFERENT CHARACTERISTICS AND ACTIONS OF THE CHRISTIAN THAT PROVE THAT WHEN WE LOVE AS GOD LOVES, SUCH AS IN HOSPITALITY, THAT PROVES TO OTHERS THAT WE ARE BORN OF GOD, WHICH MEANS IT PROVES TO OTHERS THAT WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD. THEREFORE, SOMEONE LOOKS AT ME AND THEY SEE HOW THAT I AM HOSPITABLE TO MY BRETHREN, HOW I'M HOSPITABLE TO STRANGERS, AND HOW I'M HOSPITABLE TO OTHERS IN THIS LIFE. AND THEN THEY ARE ABLE TO KNOW THAT I AM OF GOD. THAT THE THINGS I'M DOING ARE BEYOND WHAT MERE MAN USUALLY WOULD DO BUT THEY ARE HIGHER CHARACTERISTICS. THEY ARE HIGHER ATTITUDES. AND SO AS WE LOOK THROUGHOUT THE OLD TESTAMENT, NOT ONLY THESE PASSAGES, BUT EVEN WHAT MOSES RECORDS TO ISRAEL THROUGHOUT THE OLD LAW ITSELF. GUESS WHAT WE FIND? HOSPITALITY.

ANOTHER TEXT I WOULD ASK YOU TO LOOK WITH ME AT IS FOUND THERE IN LEVITICUS. CERTAINLY LEVITICUS IS ONE OF THE BOOKS OF THE PENTATEUCH THAT GIVES US A LOT OF THE ACTUAL LAW AND THE FUNCTIONALITY OF THE LAW, THAT IS TO BE OBEYED BY ISRAELITE, THE ISRAELITES OR THE NATION OF GOD. AND THERE IN CHAPTER 19 IF YOU WILL LOOK WITH ME SPECIFICALLY AT VERSE 34 WHEN HE'S DEALING WITH STRANGERS. AND NOTICE WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT THE STRANGER WHO WOULD COME AMONGST THE ISRAELITE NATION. AND BASICALLY THE STRANGER MEANS THOSE OF OTHER BACKGROUNDS, CULTURES, OR NATIONALITIES WHO ACTUALLY COME IN - WHETHER THEY BE SERVANTS OR SLAVES OR WHETHER THEY BE THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO SOJOURN OR TO DWELL AMONGST THE ISRAELITES. VERSE 34 SAYS, “THE STRANGER WHO DWELLS AMONG YOU, YOU SHALL BE ONE WHO TREATS HIM AS IF HE WAS BORN AMONG YOU AND YOU SHALL LOVE HIM AS YOURSELF. FOR YOU ALSO WERE STRANGERS IN THE LAND OF EGYPT. I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD.” HE SAYS THERE NOT ONLY ARE THEY TO TREAT THEM AS ONE BORN IN THEIR COUNTRY, IN OTHER WORDS IN THE SPIRIT OF LOVE INCLUDING THAT WHICH IS HOSPITABLE TO THEM AND THEIR NEED AND MAKING SURE THAT THEIR NEEDS ARE MET, BUT ALSO AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF - ANOTHER TOPIC THAT WE'VE ALREADY LOOKED AT TOGETHER IN RELATIONSHIP WITH THIS SERIES OVER THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS.

BUT I WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND WITH ME THAT THIS IS ALWAYS BEEN GOD'S DESIRE. A PART OF GOD'S LAW TO BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE MUST SHOW HOSPITALITY TO THOSE WHO ARE AROUND US EVEN THOUGH WE LIVE IN A WORLD, AND FRANKLY OFTEN A SOCIETY, THAT SEEMS TO BECOME LESS AND LESS HOSPITABLE IN THE THINGS THAT WE DO. I WANT YOU THINK ABOUT THAT FOR JUST A MOMENT. OUR SOCIETY, FOR INSTANCE. I CAN REMEMBER GROWING UP IN DIFFERENT PLACES AS A YOUNGER BOY. SPECIFICALLY, I THINK OF LIVING THERE IN THE STATE OF ALABAMA AND I REMEMBER HOW THAT ON A REGULAR BASIS THERE WAS HOSPITALITY. NOT ONLY BEING SEEN AS WE CAME TOGETHER AS CHURCH AND MAYBE ORGANIZED SERVICES, BUT GREAT HOSPITALITY AND THE FACT THAT PEOPLE WOULD REGULARLY INVITE US OVER TO THEIR HOMES AND THAT WE WOULD FELLOWSHIP WITH THEM AND THAT WE WOULD EAT WITH THEM AND THEN VICE VERSA. YOU SEE THE CONCEPT OF BEING ABLE AND WILLING TO OPEN THE HOME TO OTHERS IN NEED. ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO ARE BRETHREN.

IT'S A BEAUTIFUL IDEA. IT WAS AN IDEA THAT REALLY WE SEE BRETHREN PERMEATING THE NEW TESTAMENT PASSAGES IN WHICH REALLY WAS A PART OF THE VERY BEGINNING ELEMENTARY FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES FOUND EVEN IN ACTS 2 WHEN THE CHURCH WAS ESTABLISHED. DO YOU NOT REMEMBER WITH ME THAT IT SAYS THERE THAT THEY CONTINUED DAILY FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE IN ACTS CHAPTER 2? DO YOU NOT REMEMBER WITH ME THAT IT EXPRESSES THERE IN CHAPTER 2 AND THERE IN SEVERAL CHAPTERS AFTER 2 THAT THEY HAD ALL THINGS IN COMMON. THEY WERE SHOWING THE NEED FOR HOSPITALITY AND MEETING THE NEEDS OF THEIR BRETHREN. WILLING TO GET RID OF THEIR OWN THINGS THAT OTHERS MIGHT HAVE WHAT THEY NEED. AND NO DOUBT AS WELL AS THEY WENT HOUSE TO HOUSE BEING WILLING TO OPEN THEIR HOMES TO SEE THAT OTHERS WHO HAD NEEDS WERE BEING TAKEN CARE OF. OH, THAT WE COULD LIVE IN A MORE HOSPITABLE SOCIETY. A SOCIETY THAT WOULD AGAIN ALLOW US TO SEE SOMEONE WHO NEEDED A RIDE SOMEWHERE AND MAYBE NOT WORRY ABOUT GIVING THEM A RIDE OR SOMEONE WHO HAD A BREAKDOWN AND MAYBE NOT WORRY OR BE AFRAID ABOUT HAVING TO HELP THEM OR TO SEE IF WE MIGHT ASSIST THEM IN THAT NEED. A SOCIETY THAT SEES SPECIFIC AND LEGITIMATE NEEDS IN OUR BRETHREN AND FRIENDS AND AGAIN WILLING AND ABLE IN A SAFE WAY TO BE ABLE TO ASSIST WITH THOSE THINGS.

BUT BRETHREN, ALTHOUGH OUR SOCIETY SEEMS BECAUSE OF MANY REASONS TO HAVE MOVED AWAY FROM THAT, THAT DOESN'T TAKE AWAY FROM THE COMMANDMENT OR THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CHRISTIAN TO DO EVERYTHING WITHIN OUR MEANS, WITHIN OUR ABILITIES, TO STILL CONTINUE TO SHOW THAT WE ARE HOSPITABLE. AND LET ME REMIND YOU BRETHREN ALTHOUGH THAT WE AS A NATION AND OFTEN AS RELIGIONS ARE VERY GENEROUS TO GIVE MONEY SO THAT SOMEONE ELSE CAN DO IT. THAT HOSPITALITY IS NOT ABOUT HELPING SO THAT SOMEONE ELSE CAN ALWAYS DO IT. HOSPITALITY IS ABOUT LOVING SOMEONE ELSE ENOUGH TO DO SOMETHING WHICH IS GOOD AND KIND FOR THEM. TO UNDERSTAND THAT BETTER I WOULD LIKE TO LOOK AT A FEW GREEK WORDS THAT WE FIND ACTUALLY THIS CONCEPT COMING FROM. AND BASICALLY THEY'RE THE SAME GREEK WORD. ONE IS CONNECTED TO THE NOUN FORM AND THE OTHER IS BASICALLY THE ADJECTIVE FORM.

TO BEGIN, WE MIGHT LOOK AT SPECIFICALLY THE ADJECTIVE FORM. PHILOXENUS IS THE WORD THAT WE FIND IN THE GREEK. AND I FIND IT VERY INTERESTING AS I SEE IN OUR ENGLISH BIBLES THAT WE GENERALLY HAVE THE IDEA OF HOSPITALITY WHICH CERTAINLY I THINK IS A GOOD INDICATION OF WHAT IT'S TRYING TO GET ACROSS. BUT DID YOU NOTICE THERE WITHIN THE PHILO OR THE PHILO OR THE PHILOXENUS, THERE'S THE WORD LOVE? PHILO, ONE OF THE GREEK WORDS FOR LOVE. AND GUESS WHAT ACTUALLY THE CONCEPT MEANS? THE PHILO PHILOXENUS -THE CONCEPT, THE SECOND CONCEPT, A STRANGER. GUESS WHAT THIS WORD MEANS? LOVE OF STRANGERS. WOW, HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT THAT? NOT ONLY LOVE OF BRETHREN AND I CERTAINLY WANT US TO SEE TOGETHER AS WE LOOK AT SOME SCRIPTURES IN A MOMENT, THAT IT'S TALKING ABOUT NOT JUST STRANGERS, THERE'S A LOVE FOR BRETHREN AND A HOSPITALITY FOR BRETHREN. BUT THEN HE GOES FURTHER AS WE SEE HERE TO INDICATE THAT THIS IS A LOVE THAT IS EXPRESSED IN A HOSPITABLE WAY, EVEN TO STRANGERS HEARTS OF THOSE TO WHOM WE MIGHT NOT KNOW OR WHOM WE MIGHT NOT KNOW VERY WELL. THE NOUN FORM IS PHILOXENUS AND AGAIN THAT WORD SIMPLY IS THE NOUN FORM TO ACTUALLY SHARE THE ACTION OR IDEA OF SHARING THAT HOSPITALITY.

AND SO AS WE THINK ABOUT THAT THEN, LET'S GO TO A FEW PASSAGES THAT MIGHT HELP US IN THE NEW TESTAMENT TO SHOW US WHAT IT WAS THAT GOD DEMANDED OF THOSE IN THAT DAY IN RELATIONSHIP TO HOSPITALITY. AND THEREFORE SINCE HE WAS ADDRESSING THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH, THE FACT IS OBVIOUS THAT WE THEN ARE ALSO REQUIRED TO BE HOSPITABLE AS WELL. LET'S GO FIRST OF ALL TO THE BOOK OF TITUS. AND I START HERE BECAUSE IT'S ONE OF THE MORE OBVIOUS OF THE OTHERS. THERE IN TITUS CHAPTER 1, YOU MIGHT RECALL WITH ME THAT HE EARLY ON IN THAT BOOK GIVES THE QUALIFICATIONS, AS WE WOULD CALL THEM, FOR ELDERS OR BISHOPS AND THEN HE ALSO GIVES THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR DEACONS. IT IS AMONG THOSE QUALIFICATIONS THERE IN VERSE EIGHT THAT HE SAYS, AN ELDER MUST BE HOSPITABLE. THERE'S THAT WORD. WE MUST BE A LOVER OF STRANGERS AND AN INDIVIDUAL WILLING TO HELP STRANGERS. SO YOU SAY. OH WELL, I'M NOT AN ELDER SO I'M GLAD HE'S TALKING ABOUT OTHERS BECAUSE I DO'NT HAVE TO DO IT. I'M NOT AN ELDER. WELL, YOU AND I BOTH KNOW THAT THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR ELDERS ARE A LITTLE BIT HIGHER STANDARDS THAT WE ALL SHOULD BE STRIVING FOR. SHOULD YOU NOT BE STRIVING IN EVERY WAY TO BE AS MUCH LIKE CHRIST AS POSSIBLE? THE ANSWER IS YES. SO CERTAINLY HOSPITALITY WOULD BE SOMETHING THAT WE NEED TO STRIVE FOR.

BUT NOT ONLY THERE, BUT WE CAN SEE IN FIRST TIMOTHY CHAPTER 3 AND VERSE 2 IN TIMOTHY'S RECORD FROM PAUL, THAT HE AGAIN MAKES THE SAME STATEMENT THAT A BISHOP MUST BE ONE WHO'S NOT ONLY BLAMELESS BUT ONE WHO IS HOSPITABLE TO OTHERS. WHICH MEANS THAT HE IS A LOVER OF HELPING OTHERS OR EVEN A LOVER OF STRANGERS. WHEN HE SEES NEEDS, HE MEETS THOSE NEEDS.

THE NEXT PASSAGE I WOULD LIKE TO LOOK AT IS FOUND IN THE WORDS OF PETER. AND IN 1 PETER CHAPTER 4, WE FIND HERE WITHIN THIS CONTEXT WHICH FITS BEAUTIFULLY IN WITH WHAT WE'VE BEEN LOOKING AT TOGETHER IN RELATIONSHIP TO OUR OVERALL SERIES, BUT THERE AS YOU MIGHT REMEMBER WITHIN OUR SERIES THAT WE'VE BEEN LOOKING AT THE SPECIFIC IDEA OF THE LOVE OF GOD WHICH IS TAKEN FROM THE CONCEPT OF 1 JOHN. NOTICE WHAT IT IS THAT PETER SAYS HERE BEGINNING IN VERSE 8 OF 1 PETER 4. HE SAYS, “AND ABOVE ALL THINGS HAVE FERVENT LOVE, ONE FOR ANOTHER. FOR LOVE WILL COVER A MULTITUDE OF SINS.” HE STARTS OUT AS BRETHREN, HE'S TALKING TO CHRISTIANS, LOVE EACH OTHER.

NOW GUESS WHAT THE FIRST THING IS IN VERSE 9 AFTER HE SAYS LOVE EACH OTHER AND THEREFORE YOU'LL BE ABLE TO COVER A MULTITUDE OF SINS. HE SAYS, “AND BE HOSPITABLE TO ONE ANOTHER.” WELL, YOU KNOW, WHAT DOES LOVE SHOW ITSELF FORTH AS? HOW IS IT DEMONSTRATED? HOSPITALITY. WHEN WE SEE NEEDS, WHEN WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO HELP, WHEN WE CAN OPEN OUR HOMES, WHEN WE CAN OPEN OUR POCKETBOOKS, WHEN WE CAN OPEN OUR PANTRIES AND HELP THOSE THAT HAVE NEEDS WHO ARE AMONG US OR WHO ARE OF THE WORLD, WE SHOULD BE HOSPITABLE BECAUSE THAT'S HOW LOVE IS DEMONSTRATED. AND WHEN WE LOVE WE ARE KNOWN AS WHAT? THOSE WHO ARE BORN OF GOD OR THOSE WHO ARE SONS OR DAUGHTERS OF GOD. THERE IS SOMETHING ELSE ADDED IN THAT SAME VERSE. VERSE 9 GOES ON TO SAY, “BE HOSPITABLE TO ONE ANOTHER WITHOUT GRUMBLING.” YOU KNOW, A LOT OF US MIGHT BE GOOD ABOUT SAYING WELL, I GUESS WE'LL HELP. OR I GUESS WE'LL DO IT. OR I MIGHT THIS TIME BUT IF IT HAPPENS AGAIN I'M NOT GONNA. SOMETIMES WE'RE GRUMBLERS, AREN'T WE? AND REALLY OUR SPIRIT, OUR ATTITUDE, IS NOT GOOD. WE MIGHT DO WHAT IS RIGHT BUT NOT WITH THE RIGHT LOVE. WHAT HE'S TRYING TO SAY HERE IS BE HOSPITABLE AND MAKE IT COME FROM THE HEART. HAVE THE GOOD SPIRIT, THE PROPER SPIRIT, THE LOVING SPIRIT, THE GODLY SPIRIT, THAT YOU MIGHT BE FOUND PLEASING IN HIS SIGHT IN ALL THINGS.

THE SAME GREEK WORD IS FOUND OVER IN THE BOOK OF ROMANS, IF YOU WANT TO TURN WITH ME THERE, AND CERTAINLY YOU'RE AWARE WITH ME THAT IN ROMANS CHAPTER 12 HE STARTS IN THAT PASSAGE TALKING ABOUT HOW WE'RE NOT TO BE LIKE THE WORLD BUT DIFFERENT FROM THE WORLD. AND THEREFORE WE ARE TO BE THOSE WHO ARE LIVING SACRIFICES. SO HE'S TALKING ABOUT THE LIFE OF A CHRISTIAN. THE LIFE OF CHRISTIANITY, IF YOU WILL. BUT THEN LATER IN THAT SAME TEXT, GUESS WHAT HE BEGINS TO SAY IN VERSE 10? HE SAYS, “AND BE KINDLY AFFECTIONATE TO ONE ANOTHER WITH BROTHERLY LOVE.” AND HE EVEN SAYS, “IN HONOR GIVING PREFERENCE TO ONE ANOTHER.” HE BEGINS TO SAY WE MUST LOVE. AND WE MUST LOVE EACH OTHER ENOUGH TO SEE THAT THE OTHERS AND THEIR NEEDS ARE NOT ONLY JUST AS IMPORTANT AS MINE BUT SOMETIMES MORE IMPORTANT THAN MINE. THAT I'M ABLE TO LOOK BEYOND MYSELF. BUT THEN NOTICE WHAT HE SAYS IN VERSE 13. AND BY THE WAY, HE'S GOT A LONG LIST OF THINGS THAT LOVE DEMONSTRATES ITSELF BY. BUT ONE OF THOSE THINGS IN VERSE 13 IS THIS DISTRIBUTING TO THE NEEDS OF THE SAINTS GIVEN TO HOSPITALITY. THERE IT IS AGAIN. THE IDEA, THE CONCEPT, OF BEING ABLE TO LOVE MY BROTHER AS ONE WHO IS BORN OF GOD, A SON OF GOD, TO LOVE MY BROTHER AND TO PROVE IT BY BEING HOSPITABLE. BY GOING BEYOND MY OWN NEEDS, WANTS, DESIRES AND SELFISH SITUATIONS OF THIS LIFE THAT I MIGHT SEE WHAT OTHERS NEED OF MY BRETHREN INCLUDING THOSE OF THIS WORLD. AND THEN THAT I MIGHT SHOW MYSELF TO BE HOSPITABLE THAT GOD MIGHT BE GLORIFIED IN ALL THINGS. THE QUESTION MIGHT BE THIS MORNING - ARE YOU GLORIFYING GOD BY BEING HOSPITABLE? NOT ONLY TO YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST BUT ALSO TO THOSE OF THIS WORLD. IF SO, PRAISE BE TO GOD. IF NOT, WHY NOT CHOOSE TODAY TO BE HOSPITABLE? AS GOD DEMANDS.

CLOSING COMMENTS

THANK YOU AGAIN FOR CHOOSING TO BE WITH US TODAY, IN GIVING THIS TIME TO GOD. WHAT A BLESSING IT HAS BEEN TO SHARE THIS TIME TOGETHER IN CHRIST. WE INVITE YOU BACK EVERY SUNDAY MORNING AT 7:30, AS WE COMMIT OURSELVES THROUGH THIS WORSHIP TO GOD!

BUT FOR NOW, LET ME ASK YOU IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT TODAY’S LESSON? MAYBE, YOU WOULD LIKE A FREE TRANSCRIPT OR A CASSETTE TAPE OF THIS PROGRAM? POSSIBLY, WE COULD ASSIST YOU WITH FREE BIBLE MATERIALS OF SOME SORT? NO MATTER WHAT YOUR NEED IS, PLEASE CONTACT US AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:

The Living Word 2540 N. Kansas Expressway Springfield, Mo. 65803

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MAY WE ALL STRIVE TO BE MORE HOSPITABLE TO ONE ANOTHER AS A FAMILY OF GOD. FOR A FAMILY THAT INTERACTS, HELPS ONE ANOTHER AND ENJOYS EACH OTHER’S COMPANY CAN DO GREATER THINGS FOR THE SAKE OF GOD. ARE YOU HOSPITABLE AS GOD DEMANDS?