Today’s devotion is an excerpt from a Bible Study Series taught at Fellowship Baptist Church, titled “Biblical Building Blocks for Strengthening Relationships.”
Biblical Building Block #25 Be Hospitable Towards One Another (I Peter 4:9) PART 1
I Peter 4:9, “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.”
I. What To Do (I Peter 4:9a) “Use hospitality one to another...”
Peter urges believers to have a positive attitude toward hospitality, one that flows from the fervent love and prayerful hope described in I Peter 4:7-8. I Peter 4:7-8, “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” We have a serious call to prayer, and we have a superior call to passion. If we have fully put forth love for our brothers (I Peter 4:8); we will practice hospitality toward them (I Peter 4:9). The word “hospitality” is used four times in the Scripture. Twice it is used referring to the practice of a Christian. Romans 12:13, “Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.” I Peter 4:9, “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” Twice it is used concerning the prerequisite of a pastor. I Timothy 3:2, “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach.” Titus 1:8, “But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate...”
Hospitable means to show acts of kindness. Hospitality is the act or practice of receiving and entertaining strangers or guests without reward. It carries the idea of the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers. The writer of Hebrews encouraged us to be hospitable. He reminded us that there maybe a time that we may unknowingly entertain angels. Hebrews tells us that “some have entertained angels unawares” because of being hospitable (Hebrews 13:2). Hebrews 13:2, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Abraham was hospitable to three strangers and discovered that he entertained the LORD and two angels (Genesis 18). God told Israel, “Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 10:19).
Peter tells the church to demonstrate their fervent love for one another by what they do. This is not a suggestion from the Word of God! This is a command to the people of God. We are to be hospitable to one another. Hospitality is a virtue that is commanded and commended throughout the Scripture. Love is demanded of us, and love is to be demonstrated by us. One of the most important fundamentals of being a Christian is being involved in a ministry serving others. You don’t have to be called to preach to be involved in a ministry serving others. God wants us to use our abilities and gifts to bless and encourage others. He wants us to reach people for Christ with the Gospel. We are to be ministry minded people. Understand that the Lord has placed you in a place or position at work, school, home, or your neighborhood, to touch the lives of others and point them to the Lord Jesus Christ. If you grasp this truth, it will change your life because it will change the way you view life and those around you. You can have a ministry with your family, friends, fellow workers, and neighbors.
Hospitality played a vital role in the spread of the Gospel. Without hospitality the early church could not have existed. In Peter’s day, Christians were persecuted throughout the Roman empire. Many Christians had to flee their homes to go to other areas that were safer. In their travels, they needed places to stay. The traveling missionaries who spread the good news of the Gospel also had to find somewhere to lodge. Because the inns were dangerous and provided abundant sexual temptations, traveling Christians and missionaries avoided them. They sought lodging with friends, relatives, acquaintances, or friends of friends. Many of them stayed in the homes of other believers, which was a huge blessing. Preachers, over the centuries, have relied on the hospitality of believers while traveling from town to town to minister to people. Hospitality was needed not only for traveling believers, but it was also needed so that churches could be established. There were no church buildings for almost 200 years. Local churches were forced to meet in the homes of those believers who had larger rooms and were willing to let their homes be used for worship services. For example, Aquila and Priscilla made their home available for church services. I Corinthians 16:19, “The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.” Romans 16:5a, “Likewise greet the church that is in their house.”
Prayer, Father in Heaven, although I fall short many times in showing hospitality like I should my desire and Your desire to use me never ceases. Touch my heart that I may serve others with care. Help me to know the deepest needs of people and comfort strangers who are weary. As You have generously invested in me, use me to cheerfully serve others that I may be pleasing to You. In Jesus name, Amen.
Thank you for reading PART 1 of Biblical Building Block #25 of this series. Please visit this website tomorrow for PART 2 of Biblical Building Block #25 of this series.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.