Being hospitable is how we reach out to a hurting world. When God wanted to turn the world upside down with His message of redemption, He did it by recruiting a few men, living life with them, and then sending them out to live life with others.
Why Bother With Being Hospitable?
Welcome back to the second installment in the Hindrances to Hospitality series! As we begin this discussion it seems that the foundation of why we should care about hospitality is of utmost importance. If we don’t understand why this is an important concept to our daily lives and even our understanding of God, our motivation will lax over time.
According to Ephesians 2:19, believers in Christ are members of the household of God. Members of a family have similar characteristics. Of course there are things that make us unique but, as members of a family, we often have similar mannerisms and preferences. This ought to also be true as members of God’s household. We ought to love the things He loves and hate the things He hates. Our lives should reflect Him; His character and what is in important to Him.
God loves hospitality. He is a hospitable God. First creating humanity, He gave us an amazing environment to grow and develop in. He gave us everything we could need. When we messed everything up, He had a plan to make things even better than before. He sent Christ, He is currently redeeming His people, and He is preparing a place now for us to dwell with Him forever.
He is a hospitable God.
He welcomes those who do not deserve welcome. We see this played out in the life of Christ. Though He owned no property, He welcomed strangers constantly. His kindness and generosity toward the unbelieving world was staggering as He ate meals and lived life with men and women. On the day when the redeemed of the world are gathered to Him, He will host a feast (Revelation 19), and we will understand God’s hospitality in an ultimate sense.
Even now as we partake of communion with other believers we are foreshadowing that beautiful day when we sit around a table prepared for us by our Savior and eat a meal by His side.
Our God is a hospitable God.
God’s people are called to be hospitable.
Hospitality is not optional. As with forgiveness, if we truly understand how much hospitality has been extended to us, we cannot help but extend hospitality to others.
God has commanded that we be hospitable people.
“Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” – Romans 12:13
“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” – 1 Peter 4:9
Hospitality is not about elaborate meals or perfectly groomed homes. Hospitality is about sharing real life together. It is about living life in community.
Hospitality is how we start living out the “one another” commands of Scripture that we talked about in the first installment of this series.
Hospitality is also how we reach out to a hurting world. When God wanted to turn the world upside down with His message of redemption, He did it by recruiting a few men, living life with them, and then sending them out to live life with others.
We are amazed at the work the Holy Spirit did in the early church but what we read about the early believers is astounding! The Scripture says that “day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts” (Acts 2:46).
God works by welcoming people. He welcomes sinners into the His home and He wants His people to welcome each other and unbelievers into their homes. In this way we mirror the work our Lord is accomplishing and we get to join the work.
Too often we think we have to put more money into church programs (I’m not saying they are all bad!) in order to see a work of the Holy Spirit in our midst. But what if, instead of all that, we just opened the door? What if we called a coworker who is struggling and ate a meal with them? What if we knocked on the neighbor’s door with an invitation to a backyard barbeque? What if we looked around our church for hurting people to be a blessing to? What kind of work could God begin through your life if you lived this way?
In order to really get excited about hospitality, we have to believe it is necessary.
As the authors of the amazing little book The Simplest Way to Change the World say, “We must remember that the church has progressed for two millennia on God’s power at work around ordinary kitchen tables and living rooms.”
Maybe instead of trying to come up with a new idea, we should be open to God’s plan all along.
Open the door, welcome strangers and friends. God can do incredible things through this!
Click here to check out the first post in this series!
Click here to check out the next installment about Christ’s example of hospitality, the hindrances He faced, and how He overcame them.