Sometimes we’re surprised, former procrastinators, by things the Lord says are important to Him. One surprise might be hospitality. Saying “yes” to hospitality is so important He even names hospitality as a criteria for leadership in the churches. (1 Timothy 3:2, Titus 1;8) Leadership is setting the example for others. He makes hospitality one of the criteria for determining if a widow should receive church support. (1 Timothy 5:10).
Did He mean leaders and others needed to throw dinner parties and provide snazzy amusements? No. And neither do we. But He does want us to say yes to hospitality.
To be “hospitable” is “given to generous and cordial reception of guests; offering a pleasant or sustaining environment.” (Merriam Webster Online)
In Greek “hospitable” means “fond of guests.” If we’re not fond of having guests, its seems the Lord wants to develop that in us. One of the best ways to do that is – to have guests in our homes and let Him work!
A friend years ago said she and her husband did not seek to “entertain” people in their home – but to nurture them physically and spiritually. That is a wonderful perspective. It removes pressure and it fits the Lord’s direction. We can ask Him to develop in us hearts eager to serve others (Galatians 5:13) to do good and share what we have. (Hebrews 13:6)
Our homes are provisions God has given us to share in some way. True, we sometimes need to set boundaries in order to be good stewards. (“In our house we don’t jump on the furniture.”) But each of us can pray He will expand our hearts to welcome others even for a cup of cold water.
A friend says, “If you want to see me, come anytime. If you want to see my house, give me two weeks’ notice.” I always feel welcome there. We receive others for the sake of being with them and serving them. We think not of ourselves and our houses but of them. And we are both blessed.
When I was young, relatives of a relative were passing through town. Though we didn’t know them, my parents persuaded them to come for dinner. As they were leaving, the man said, “We’ve always made it a policy not to eat in anyone else’s home. Now we see what we’ve been missing.” All those lost years!
We can warmly welcome children, teens, adults of all ages and share with them the love of Christ by sharing our homes. And by sharing ourselves in our homes.
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Hebrews 13:2) God wants to use us to host angels? Hospitality is important.
What do you most enjoy about hosting others? What is the most trying aspect for you?
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