There are many verses in the Scriptures with which people are familiar. Perhaps this is due to the desire to inculcate Scripture in the lives and minds of the people of God. Therefore, whether it is Sunday School memorization, or a personal desire to memorize Scripture, people gravitate towards the great verses of Scripture. One such verse, for example, is Romans 12.1-2: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Now, while many are familiar with this passage of Scripture, there are many who do not know what this verse looks like in real life. In other words, What does it mean to be a living sacrifice?
In the outline of the Epistle to the Romans, Paul spells out what it means to be a living sacrifice in chapters 12 and following. Though, Paul does begin to flesh out how a Christian can be a living sacrifice. Notice how Paul describes a life devoted to being a living sacrifice: “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality” (Rom. 12.10-13). We should take note that Paul lists hospitality as one of the ways that a Christian can be a living sacrifice. This should cause us to ask, In what ways do I exercise hospitality?
Often our lives are consumed by our busy schedules. We run to and fro for errands, sports practice for the children, shopping, meal preparation, and the like. We fall victim to the tyranny of the urgent. When all is said and done, we seldom have time to exercise hospitality towards the other members of the body of Christ. When was the last time we had someone over from the church, served them food, and did our best to demonstrate the love of Christ to them? When was the last time that we fellowshipped with fellow members of the body of Christ and considered their needs as more important than our own? If we say that we want to be living sacrifices, then this is certainly one way that we can please God—exercise hospitality.
In an effort to promote hospitality among the members of Geneva, the session has decided to alter the August church calendar. For the month August, we will only meet for corporate lunch on the first Sunday of the month (August, 4th). In the place of our regular corporate luncheons, the session wants to encourage the members of the body at Geneva to exercise hospitality. This is a time to invite fellow church members over to our homes for a Sunday lunch. Yes, while our corporate luncheons are times of fellowship, we often lack the opportunity to fellowship in a more intimate setting. We will resume our regular church calendar schedule in September with the corporate luncheon every Sunday after church.
Let us desire to be living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, by exercising hospitality!
PDF version: The Importance of Hospitality