He Speaks to Me {hospitality}

He Speaks To Me {hospitality}

A wonderful Bible teacher came to my house to speak to the ladies in our Sunday School class. Everyone who knows her loves her and spoke so highly of her. Many have asked me what I learned….so let me share!

She spoke to us on the topic of hospitality. When I first found out she was speaking on hospitality at my house, I got a bit nervous. I thought about all the things I may be doing wrong. Was I dressed appropriately?  Will I be friendly enough?  Do I have enough seating?  Are there enough food options?  Aaaaaaahhhhh!  I don’t want to break any hospitality rules straight out of the shoot!!!!!  

Pat Harley walked us to where the word hospitality is mentioned in the Bible. She gave us a definition of it— “love of strangers” (that has nothing to do with my outfit or my dated white kitchen cabinets).  Love of strangers. 

We discussed why we should be hospitable, what keeps us from being hospitable and the benefits of being hospitable. 

We looked at Romans 12, I Timothy 5:9-10, I Peter 4:9, Luke 14:12, among other passages. 

I spent my time with the Lord in Romans 12 for a couple of mornings after she spoke. There is so much in this chapter, and I felt drawn to spend some more time there. 

Verse 10 says, “ Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.”

That is such a great truth that goes against human nature. 

Devoted to another in love.  Giving preference to another. 

My side note in my Bible says that giving preference to one another in honor could be translated, “outdo one another in showing honor.”

Not “outdo one another in how big your house is” or “outdo one another in who serves the most expensive meal.”  

Instead, how can I outdo someone in showing honor to them?  How can I give preference to them?  

This is the heart of hospitality…..showing love and honoring someone.

Verse 13 encourages the believer to contribute to the needs of the saints and practice hospitality. My notes say that it could read,”pursuing hospitality.”  Go after, be intentional, look for opportunities to be hospitable. Is there someone in my world that needs to be loved on and encouraged? 

Could it be there’s a strained relationship that could be relieved by sharing a meal together and showing honor to them?

Could it be there is a new family in our Sunday School class that could really use some time in your home to get to know you and to be known by someone?

Is there’s lady who is hurting and needs to meet over coffee and have someone listen to her?  

Loving others. Honoring others. 

When we understand God’s call to hospitality and we become intentional about pursuing people to love and honor, you better know there will be multiple ways Satan would like to discourage you from actually following through. 

“My carpet is so old and worn. I’d be embarrassed for anyone to come over.”

“What if my meal tastes horrible ??”

“What if their kids are rambunctious and ruin something?”

“What if we don’t have much to talk about?”

Those reasons are grounded in pride and fear, neither are from God.

Besides being called to be hospitable as believers, another huge reason for showing love to others in your home is YOUR KIDS ARE WATCHING!  I want to model hospitality for my kids. One evening we had a couple over for dinner and asked them to share their testimony with our family. They each shared how God rescued them from a life of drugs and lies. My kids were enthralled; I’m sure they won’t forget that dinner.  Another night we had a missionary couple from Iran in our home. We didn’t “shew” the kids away while the adults talked. We made sure the kids knew that this night was a night to listen and learn from this couple. One of my favorite hospitality moments was hosting the elementary staff in our home for lunch. All three kids participated and served and helped with the cleanup. Where else will my kids learn how to love people and honor them by showing preference to others?  

While I love opening up my home to people, I also got to thinking that if hospitality is “love of strangers,” then we certainly aren’t limited to being hospitable in our homes. I can show hospitality any where I find myself!  The grocery store. Church. Zaxby’s. The Post Office.  The neighborhood pool. The airport. There’s really no limit to where or when you can show love and give preference to someone else. What a gift we can give!  And trust me, it would be a welcome gift to most people. Have you noticed how lacking our world is of genuine kindness or helpfulness?  It’s become what is expected, so a warm, hospitable smile or holding the door open for someone can really go a long way. Who knows?  They may even ask you why you would be so kind and open the door for you to share Jesus with them. Because, honestly, without Him, we wouldn’t be able to give preference to one another in honor.  We would not be devoted to anyone except ourselves. 

Lets all pursue hospitality! Love a stranger today. 

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