“Hospitality” (Gk. “philoxenia” from “philos” meaning “love” and “xenos” meaning “stranger”) is the love of strangers. It is to love by receiving a stranger as a guest; to lodge or entertain, mainly travelers.
Lev. 19:33-34 How were the Israelites to regard the strangers (foreign-born residents) who resided in their land?
What is your attitude toward strangers (foreign-born residents) who move into your area or attend your college, and why?
Deut. 10:18-19 How were the Israelites to show their love to the aliens (foreign-born residents)?
How do you show your love to strangers (foreign-born residents) who move into your neighborhood or attend your college, and why?
Lk. 14:1, 11-14 Though this saying was directed toward a religious leader who apparently was proud, what application might you draw from the spirit of the principle in the passage?
[The word “invite” in Gk. “phonei” is in the present tense here, meaning “habitually invite” or “only invite”.].
Are you applying it, and if so, when and how was the last time?
3 Jn. 1:5-8 In what are we acting faithfully (3 Jn. 1:5)?
Why were they to do this (e.g., 2 Cor. 11:26)?
How should we send believing strangers on their way (as missionaries for the sake of the Name/Jesus), 3 Jn. 1:6?
Do you support financially or materially full-time Christian missionaries in a manner worthy of God (i.e., as you would support God/Jesus Himself), and why?
Why should we support such men (3 Jn. 1:7)?
When shouldn’t we be hospitable (2 Jn. 1:7-10; 2 Thes. 3:6-12; 1 Cor. 5:11)?
Rom. 16:1-2 What were the Christians at Rome told to do in relationship to Phoebe, and why?
Do you treat Christians in need who you may not know personally (but who are servants of the church and help out many other believers) in a manner worthy of the saints (i.e., as a child of God, a spiritual brother/sister of Christ, as Christ Himself, Matt. 25:34-40)?
If so, give an example of when you’ve done this.
If you don’t know a needy Christian personally, do you think it’s a good idea to know something about the person before you help him/her out (either by getting a recommendation by someone whose judgment you trust or asking this needy Christian some questions to make sure he/she is a Christian and doctrinally sound and serving the Lord, like Phoebe), and why?
Rom. 12:13 What are we told to practice?
If so, when was the last time you gave food, drink, clothes, money, lodging, or material needs to a Christian who you didn’t personally know, and why?
Matt. 25:34-40 Why did Christ (the King) say to those on His right, “Come you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you…”?
Though this passage is dealing with the seven year tribulation period after the rapture (the taking up of Christians to heaven when Jesus returns to the clouds, 1 Thes. 4:14-17), do your actions toward other believers in need demonstrate your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior?
If so, when have you done this, and to whom?
1 Tim. 3:2-3 (Titus 1:7-8) Hospitality is to be one of the qualities of whom?
Would you qualify?
If so, how did you come to this conclusion?
Heb. 13:1-2 What are we commanded not to do?
Are you neglecting to show hospitality to Christians you meet who you don’t personally know but who are in need, and why?
What have some people done by being hospitable (e.g., Gen. 18:3; 19:2)?
Have you ever thought about the fact that if/when you house/lodge or provide food for a Christian guest who you don’t personallyknow, you may be entertaining/lodging an angel?
1 Pet. 4:9-11 Not only are we commanded to be hospitable to one another, but what is our hospitality to be without?
If or when you are hospitable (giving to/sharing with/supporting Christians you don’t personally know), do you do so gladly and without complaint, and why?
Guidelines for Wise Giving or Helping
- Non-Christians who are in true/real need of the basics (e.g., food, clothes, water, etc.) who you know or personally meet and who you plan to share the gospel with.
- Non-Christians and/or Christians who you know or meet who you know are hard-working or are diligently looking for a job, but at present don’t have a job and are in need.
- Non-Christians and/or Christians who are in real need because they can’t work (e.g., international students or those whose physical handicap prevents them from working).
- Christians who are diligently involved as full-time missionaries in evangelism and building up other Christians spiritually and, therefore, need to be supported financially and/or materially in order to give themselves fully to God’s work.
- Christians you know who are good, personal financial managers, but who find themselves in need due to an unexpected emergency that was out of their control and need the extra money and/or material goods in order to pay the unexpected expense.
- If long-term help is needed and you either can’t help or choose not to help for whatever biblical reason you have, then direct such people to appropriate agencies, like food banks, homeless shelters, etc.