What is the meaning of the word hospitality? "Reception and entertainment of strangers or guests, without reward, or with kind and generous liberality." Webster.
What, then, are the characteristics of true hospitality? Kindness, generosity, and love, or charity.
As genuine hospitality must flow from love for our fellow beings, what is fulfilled by its exercise? "Love worketh no ill to his neighbor; therefore love is fulfilling of the law."Rom. 13:10. See also Gal. 5:13, 14.
What law is here referred to? "For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false wit- ness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Rom. 13:9.
Is hospitality enjoined as a duty? "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers." Heb. 13:2. "Use hospitality one to another." 1 Peter 4:9. "The stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself." Lev. 19:34.
Why ought we thus to exercise charity , or hospitality, to strangers? "For the Lord your God is God of gods, ...and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger." Deut. 10:17-19.
Prove that it enters into the foundation of Christian character. "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction." James 1:27.
Who are under the obligation to exercise hospitality? "I beseech you therefore, brethren, ...be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love, ...distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality." Rom. 12:1, 10, 13. "Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man, well reported of for good works; ...if she have lodged strangers, ...if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work." 1 Tim. 5:9, 10. "Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man." Eccl. 12:13.
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