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 2
I Peter 4:9, “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.”
2. The Way To Do It (I Peter 4:9b) “...without grudging.”
When you have the opportunity to show Christian hospitality, make sure you don’t show attitude. A wife invited some people to dinner. As they all sat down to eat, the wife turned to their six year old daughter and said, “Honey, would you like to say the blessing?” The six year old girl said, “Mama, I wouldn’t know what to say.” The mother replied, “Just say what you hear mommy say.” The daughter bowed her head and said, “Dear Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?” We are commanded to be hospitable and to do it without grumbling. Adrian Rogers said, “I believe that there are two dangerous things: One is truthless love, and the other is loveless truth.” In showing hospitality there will be times that it will be inconvenient, it will take sacrifice, it will take patience, it will always take the love of Jesus. The practice of hospitality in Biblical times, was supported by the thought that the host themselves might some day be the stranger, and by the possibility that the stranger was divinely sent. We all have the opportunity of being hospitable. Therefore, when given the opportunity to show kindness to others, we should expect they respond by saying, “I appreciate your hospitality”. Hospitality is a marvelous means towards encouragement and edification.
I’m aware that not all visitors will come back, but why do visitors return for the second or third time? It’s because our church welcomes visitors, loves the church visitor, serves the first time church guest, works at including them in the body of Christ and help them to grow.
FBC recognizes the core values of church hospitality:
1. We know that visitors are a gift from God.
2. We have the privilege of influencing their journey to faith.
3. We are ready to lead them to Christ.
4. We help them find a place to serve.
In the six years I’ve pastored FBC, I’ve never heard of a visitor complain a member has made the guest uncomfortable. They might be offended by preaching Jesus Christ, but that is different from the offense of a church members. Hospitality was an absolute essential for the early church, and it is absolutely essential within the church today. Why? For love, care, ministry and close fellowship. It is almost impossible to maintain a loving and caring church and a flourishing ministry unless believers are fellowshipping together in their homes. Too often, when we entertain, the focus is on the place, not the people. Hospitality focuses on people, so the cleanliness of the home and the food are not the primary concern. Don’t wait until your house is clean enough and you have a well-prepared meal to show hospitality! This week, invite someone into your home, not to entertain them but to show hospitality. A spontaneous invitation to a messy house is a million times better than an invitation perpetually delayed. Everyone, not just friends or relatives, should be greeted with kind words and a warm handshake or holy hug. Hospitality is not the same as entertaining. God wants us to be fond (love, caring, warm, affectionate) of guests. All of us know how it feels to be out of place when we are visiting away from home. We make others feel at home when they are visiting our church, work, or home. Hospitality is making others feel like welcomed guests and not like intruders. People can tell if you are glad to have them.
1. Open my eyes that they may see the deepest needs of people.
2. Move my hands that they may feed the hungry.
3. Touch my heart that it may bring warmth to the despairing.
4. Teach me the generosity that welcomes strangers.
5. Let me share my possessions to clothe the naked.
6. Give me the care that strengthens the sick.
Points to Ponder:
Questions to Consider:
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 2 of Biblical Building Block #25 of this series. Please visit this website tomorrow for Biblical Building Block #26 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.