Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. (Romans 12:13)
What are the rewards if we trust God’s promises, give lavishly, and open our homes to each other and the needy?
- The suffering of the saints will be relieved or at least diminished. That is what this verse means when it says, “Contribute to the needs of the saints.” We lift a burden. We relieve stress. We give hope. And that’s a reward!
- The glory of God is displayed. “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Lavish giving and open homes display the glory and the goodness and the worth of God in your life. The reason God gives us money and homes is so that by the way we use them people can see they are not our God. But God is our God. And our treasure.
- More thanksgiving to God is unleashed. “The ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God” (2 Corinthians 9:12). God has given us money and homes not just to make us thankful, but by our generosity and hospitality to make many people thankful to God.
- Our love for God and his love in us is confirmed. “If anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” (1 John 3:17). In other words, when we give generously and open our homes, the love of God is confirmed in our lives. We are real. We are not phony Christians.
- Finally, we lay up treasure in heaven. “Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail. . . . For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:33–34).
Lavish giving and open homes are close to the center of life in Christ. The reasons we don’t open our moneybags — our checkbooks — and homes as often as we should are rooted in the bondage of fear and greed. The remedy is the pleasure of Christ’s presence and the certainty of Christ’s promise: “My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
Our reward is the display of God’s glory, the good of others, and the joy of treasuring Christ together forever. Therefore I exhort you, “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”