There’s a lot to take in and absorb in the following scriptures. Only 7 short verses, but extremely important for us to pay attention to as followers of Jesus Christ.
“Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies. Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery. Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For GOD has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence, “The LORD is my Helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” Remember your leaders who taught you the Word of GOD. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith.” – Hebrews 13:1-7
There is so much emphasis throughout scripture on how to treat others. Love and honor, being hospitable, respect, learning to be content…. common themes, but how well do we put them into practice? So many people have left the church because of the way they were treated. Maybe we don’t dress correctly, or smell nice; we don’t have the right type of job or we aren’t driving a good enough vehicle or live in the nicer neighborhoods. Could be we’ve done time in prison, or committed adultery or openly lived in sin. Perhaps we have left and abusive relationship, or suffer from some type of disfigurement…. Too many churches are strictly superficial and can’t abide anyone who doesn’t meet their standards. Those churches may have Christians in the membership, but they are not biblical churches. Hypocrites and the pious are not representing Christ, but we have to keep in mind that we are ALL hypocrites who have fallen short! The very best church – in my humble opinion – is that church that is full of sinners and the fallen; the people who have accepted that they are sinners saved by Grace and God’s Mercy.
As the saying goes, “There, but for the Grace of God, go I.” You may be the wealthiest person alive, but that won’t save you. Money, power, and prestige mean absolutely nothing without the saving power of the Holy Spirit. Yes, I’m getting all preachy, and if you don’t like it, well, it really doesn’t matter to me. The only thing that matters is the Truth of GOD’S Word. I have to take care daily that I am receptive to the Word, and I have to be conscious and vigilant of my thoughts. I fail constantly! Peter reminds us:
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.”- 1 Peter 5:8-9 ( All scriptures quoted are from http://bible.com/116/1pe.5.8-9.NLT)
Whether entertaining angels or ministering to the elderly, widows, or orphans; being respectful to the person you really just want to spit on; remember WHO we represent…. and HELP each other! LOVE really is the answer, when we realize Who Love is.