Charity and hospitality go hand-in-hand. 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me' (Matthew 25:40). Jesus identifies with our suffering kin. How we treat them... is how we treat Him
. God is perfectly and painfully clear: By the charity and hospitality we extend to our brethren, we will be judged.***
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Consider these acts of kindness as footlights on the path of salvation:
1) 'I was hungry and you gave me something to eat' (Matthew 25:35). 'When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors... But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed...' (Luke 14:12-14). Extend your hospitality beyond the easy zone. Nourish those the world rejects. Jesus did.
2) 'I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink' (Matthew 25:35). 'Whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple... he shall by no means lose his reward' (Matthew 10:42). 'He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water' (John 7:38). Extend God's refreshing Presence through the pipeline of media.
3) 'I was a stranger and you invited me in' (Matthew 25:35). 'Let love of the brethren continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it' (Hebrews 13:1-2). 'The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you' (Leviticus 19:34). Extend God's family as ambassadors for Christ. Before your adoption, you were strangers, too.
4) 'I needed clothes and you clothed me' (Matthew 25:36). 'But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?' (1 John 3:17). 'Shem and Japheth took a garment... and covered the nakedness of their father' (Genesis 9:23). Extend your hearts, open your wallets, and clean out your closets. Give covering to those in need.
5) 'I was ill and you looked after me' (Matthew 25:36). 'A certain man... fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead... But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion... and took care of him' (Luke 10:30-34).**** Extend yourselves. Tend those who can't fend for themselves.
6) 'I was in prison and you came to visit me' (Matthew 25:36). 'Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering' (Hebrews 13:3). Extend sympathy, solidarity and support for your persecuted brethren. In love, go to them. In defense, speak for them, but do not forget them.
To Be Continued...
* Isaiah 58 (entire Chapter): https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+58&version=NIV
** Previous AMTC Devotions on Alms
** Previous AMTC Devotions on Tithes
: http://amtcdevotions.org/show-me-the-money-part-4-tithes-the-toll-booth; http://amtcdevotions.org/show-me-the-money-part-5-tithes-a-magnificent-return
** Previous AMTC Devotion on Offerings
*** The Sheep and the Goats: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25%3A31-46&version=NIVUK
**** The Parable of the Good Samaritan: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+10%3A25-37&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Fellowship series.