Scriptures daily as the Bereans did (Acts 17:10-11) ensures that we know the difference between good and evil.
QUESTION 4-What are some ways people might be "lagging in diligence?" (v.11)
Christians should not lag in diligence when it comes to serving the Lord. Our services should not be offered half-heartedly or in a lazy manner. Instead, Paul encourages the Romans to serve eagerly and in earnest; to have a burning zeal for what is good. Because it is fed by the presence of the Holy Spirit, our fire can burn even through difficult times.
QUESTION 5-What are some specific ways we can distribute to the necessity of the saints. (v.13)
Paul probably had the poor in mind when he gave the admonition, "distributing to the needs of the saints." Just as God makes the sun to shine and the rain to fall on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45), His children are called to assist many individuals who have needs. But Scripture emphasizes our singular responsibility for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Paul writes, "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith" (Galatians 6:10).
QUESTION 6-How can we show hospitality? What excuses do we often offer for not being more hospitable? (v.13) To be "given to hospitality" is another way we can meet the needs of the people of God. Being hospitable might mean opening our homes to visiting speakers or hosting a home Bible study.
I stand convicted! I am guilty of not being as hospitable as I could/should be. In fact, my husband and my children are more gracious in this area than I. It could simply be my intuitively female ways or my having a keener discernment of people. Whatever the reason, my excuses usually fall in the area of my being "too tired" when I get in from work in the evenings to invite anyone extra over for dinner. Or, the age-old excuse that the house is "not clean enough" to have someone visit. When in fact, if a truly hungry person were to come over for dinner, I doubt very seriously that he/she would comment on let alone notice that my hardwood floors need spot cleaning, or that the dining room table's pedestal is dusty!
While I know that it is healthy for believers to fellowship outside of the church building--getting to know one another better by developing friendships, I have always been a little bit selfish with my "free" time-"free" time as in those hours that I do not spend at work or at church. And, this is an area of my life that I am going to ask God to help me to improve in. As tight as my schedule already is, with some effort and juggling, I am confident that I can plan my evenings and weekends in such a way to better utilize the number of hours in each day that God has blessed me with. And, in so doing, I will be able to offer some of those "free" hours to God by being His mouth, arms, hands and feet to serve His people. I know that this is what Paul meant when he wrote that we should present our bodies a living sacrifice.