10 Steps to Building Biblical Relationships
Biblical Building Block #9
Be Hospitable One Another (I Peter 4:9)
I Peter 4:9, use hospitality one to another without grudging.
You don’t have to be called to preach to be involved in a ministry of serving others. God wants us to use our abilities and gifts to bless and encourage others. One of the most important fundamentals of being a Christian is being involved in a ministry serving others. If we have fully put forth love for our brothers (I Peter 4:8) we will practice hospitality toward them (I Peter 4:9). He wants us to reach people for Christ with the Gospel.
The word for “hospitality” means to be friendly to strangers. Believers are called to be lovers of strangers. We are generally told to be weary of strangers and to stay away from them. The thought of lending a room to a complete stranger rent free would be absurd. In Peter’s day, showing love to strangers was very important to the local church and it facilitated the spread of the Gospel. Preachers, over the centuries, have relied on the hospitality of believers while traveling from town to town to minister to people. Paul lists this a specific requirement for elders (I Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8) and for any widow who would receive financial support from the church (I Timothy 5:10). Peter indicates that this this is a requirement for all believers.
We have heard of the term “southern hospitality”. Sadly, in our time, Christians are not as well known for hospitality. For some, this may be due to ignorance. Perhaps they were never taught that Scripture requires believers to be hospitable one to another. For others, their lack of hospitality may indicate a lack of love for others. It may be that they are more concerned about personal comfort than the needs of others. Some choose not to due to lack of trust or fear of safety. Some might not be hospitable because they do not have a giving heart.
Peter instructed that hospitality is to be shown without grudging. To show genuine hospitality requires doing it without murmuring. This means no griping, grudging, or grumbling. We are to be friendly, or cordial with a sweet spirit and attitude. We should exercise hospitality towards others without hesitation. This must be accompanied with a right heart and attitude. Hospitality requires significant time, effort and money. The Scriptures instruct us the be cheerful givers (II Corinthians 9:7). It is not uncommon for people to invite others into their home while, in their minds and hearts, complaining the whole time. It’s been said “Some folks make you feel at home. Others make you wish you were.” God wants us to make people feel at home, whether it is in our home or in our church.
Questions to Consider:
·When was the last time you were hospitable to someone outside your immediate family or local church? How did you show hospitality?
·Would friends classify you as a hospitable person? What makes you hospitable? What prevents you from it?
·When was the last time you took someone out for a meal or just for coffee?
Points to Ponder:
·Hospitality is a wonderful opportunity to encourage others in the Lord!
·Think of some ways you can show someone hospitality to another.
·Whether you are the visitor of the host, you are there to serve, not to be served.
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.
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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.