Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. (ESV)
We are the hands and feet of Jesus in this world. Perhaps you have heard that concept before. We sometimes feel overwhelmed with the task of bringing God's love to a lost world. We wonder how the job will be done? Some of the most powerful ways the message of God's love is delivered to the world is through the genuine, practical ways that we meet the physical needs of others.
Paul instructs us to contribute to the needs of the saints. This principle has in mind that we share what we have with one another. The church should always be a place where those who have the greatest need find a home. People who are the "least of these" are representatives of Christ himself. We are to share all that we have so that they have their needs met.
We also see a command to "seek to show hospitality." It is interesting that Paul tells us to seek this action. We may or may not show hospitality instinctively. We are to make it a priority. In this instance, it would seem that Paul is having us reach out beyond just the church folks that we are more comfortable hanging with. We should seek people in our community we can show love to.
There are two results that will happen if we follow the commands found in this verse. If we are meeting the needs of people in the body of Christ the world will see this as genuine love and desire to be a part of the same family of God. If we are seeking to show hospitality to strangers and outsiders they will see that our love goes beyond our comfort zone and also be drawn to the Savior.
In what ways is God calling you to contribute to the needs of the saints? What do you need to do today to help someone? Are there strangers and outsiders that God is calling you to? Show them the same love that you have received in Christ and meet their physical needs as well.