USE HOSPITALITY

1Pe 4:9-10   “Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

In verse eight, we were instructed to have fervent charity (zealous love) for each other. The reason is simple: this zealous love will hide from view a multitude of sins.I do not believe it is possible for us to truly and deeply love our brothers and sisters and at the same time desire to shine a spotlight on their sins. We are all sinners, and if Christ died for us those sins are all covered. That includes the ones I have not yet committed. As Paul said, I am not advocating that we sin so grace can abound. I am telling you that the abundant grace of Jesus Christ has washed away our sin! If we truly know this, then our charity for one another will hide from our view (Jesus has already seen it) the sins of our brethren. By the same token, their love for us will prevent them from seeing the multitude of our sins.

In order to facilitate this, we are told to use hospitality. The word “use” (as a verb) means to employ something as a means to achieve a result. By employing hospitality (a fondness for guests) to one another, we accomplish charity to the covering of a multitude of sins. We are further instructed that our hospitality is to be genuine. If you seemingly welcome someone into your home, but in your heart you are murmuring and complaining about the added “trouble” of having them there, then there is no hospitality in that. You might fool your guest, but you are not fooling yourself. Neither are you fooling God. When our hospitality is not genuine, then we may even look for some “dirt” we can publicly broadcast to make us appear justified in our inhospitality. This directly violates the previous instruction to hide a multitude of sins.

In like manner as we have received deliverance ( the gift) from our Lord Jesus, so we are to serve (minister to) our brethren. We are to minister to them as a good manager (steward). Managers are not owners. A good manager seeks out the will of his employer and ministers according to his employer’s will. It is not up to us to decide how charity, hospitality, and deliverance are distributed. We are instructed to have charity with intensity, hospitality without grudging, and deliverance (rescue) of one another in the same way that Jesus has ministered those things to us. In so doing, we recognize that God’s grace is as varied (manifold) as our needs.

May we pray to be good stewards of God’s manifold grace!

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