“…distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.” – Romans 12:13
I must admit that usually, I do not write as much about the Greek text as I have in these devotions on doing the will of God. However, the rich portraits of application found in these words have captured my heart.
Romans 12:13 is no exception. One word has set my heart to flight…distributing. In this word – Koinoneo – there are three facets of meaning that show us its importance in the life of a believer. Paul said that if we were committed to doing the will of God, it woud mean distributing to the needs of the saints.
If a Christian is involved in biblical distribution, he will relate to those in need as a brother. This is seen in one of the word’s definitions: “to come into communion with.”
Meeting the needs of others has its foundation in relationship. To do the will of God in meeting the needs of others requires that we be rightly related to God and rightly related to others.
Jesus considered those who did works in His name, but did not really know Him, to be workers of iniquity (Matthew 7:21-23). Not being rightly related to Jesus Christ makes even the “good stuff” in your life sin.
God’s word also says that whatever we do for others that is not done with the right motive (love) is empty and useless (1 Corinthians 13:3). Everything important and eternal in our life involves loving God and loving others (Matthew 22:34-40).
If a Christian is involved in biblical distribution, he will also relate to those in need as a sharer. This is seen in the second definition: “to share in common.”
The picture here is to take what you have and to put it into one big pot. It’s like what you have ceases to be yours. It loses it’s identity as belonging to you and becomes the possession of the one in need.
This is a picture of giving yourself away for someone else. Do you know anybody who ever did that for you? Jesus did! Don’t you just love Him! What grace and love He showed in the time we needed it most! (Romans 5:6)
Finally, if a Christian is involved in biblical distribution, he will relate to those in need as a partner. This third facet of meaning is: “ to become a partner in the business of.”
This picture is of a Christian who becomes personally involved with the needs of another. This speaks volumes to me. Doing the will of God doesn’t mean “just sending your money!”
Too many Christians in our day are content to support missions and many other kinds of Christian endeavors, but are not willing “to get their hands dirty by becoming personally involved!” Paul was saying here, “YOU get involved. YOU take responsibility for the needs of others!
Do we really want to do the will of God? Maybe we need to open our eyes and find someone in need. Maybe we need to become a HOLY DISTRIBUTION CENTER!