Romans Series # 51 August 14, 2002
Title: A Christianís "To Do" List Part 3

Introduction: Welcome to New Life in Christ. We are currently in Chapter 12 of Romans as we continue with message #51 of our verse-by-verse study of the Book of Romans.

Read Romans 12:13

Opening Prayer

During the past two weeks I have shared with you how Romans 12:9-21 is basically a Christian "To Do" list. This is a list of 15 practical things the Christian should be living out in their own lives. So far I have shared on 8 of the 15 things on the Christianís "To Do" list.

1. Love others sincerely.
2. Hate what is evil.
3. Cling to what is good.
4. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.
5. Honor one another above yourselves.
6. Serve the Lord with diligence and enthusiasm.
7. Trust in and depend on God, especially in difficult times.
8. Open your wallet for Christians in need.

Now letís continue by looking at the ninth thing on the Christianís "To Do" list.

9. Make it a practice to be friendly with everyone.

This is the basic meaning of the Greek word translated as "hospitality." The word literally means to be friendly, kind, or loving toward strangers, i.e. those whom you do not know. This is what differentiates this exhortation from the previous one, which dealt primarily with how we treated fellow Christians. As Christians, our acts of kindness should extend beyond that of our own family and friends. It should also include those with whom we are unfamiliar. Practice hospitality.

9. Make it a practice to be friendly with everyone.

In, ancient times, hospitality was primarily practiced by providing food and shelter to travelers, who were in most cases, unknown to the host. Opening up your house was by no means the only way that hospitality was practice in New Testament times. Any practical act of kindness to a stranger was considered hospitality. With the advent of modern travel and accommodations, such as hotels, there are not a lot of opportunities to provide lodging for travelers, but we can still adhere to the principle of kindness to strangers in many other ways.

Let me give you a few examples of how we can make it a practice to be friendly with everyone. On the roadways, when we see a person whose car is broken down, we can stop and help, rather than ignoring them, which seems to be the more common response today. This is practicing hospitality. On the roadways, we can allow another motorist into the flow of traffic, rather than staying on top of the next carís bumper so that other drivers cannot get in front of us. This is being kind to strangers. In our workplaces, we can help fellow employees if they need it, even if it is not our job. In the supermarket, we can allow a hurried shopper to get in front of us at the checkout line. In our neighborhoods, we can pick up the neighborís trash can