What do you think of when you hear the word hospitality? For me, I am thinking of inviting people into my home and creating a space where they feel loved and welcomed. I am thinking of providing them with food and comfort. make you feel warm and make sure your visitors are appreciated no matter what you have at your door.
Paul tells us Romans 12:9-13“Don’t just pretend to love others. Be never idle, work hard, serve the Lord with zeal Rejoice in our sure hope Be patient and keep praying Be ready to help the people of God when they are in need Please be always enthusiastic about the practice of hospitality.”
These verses remind us of God’s heart for His people. He wants us to truly see His people and love them. Sometimes people can tell when love isn’t real, so Paul tells us to do so. TRUE love them and serve them. We should defend the bearers of his statues and look to help them. Often that means setting aside one’s schedule to serve someone else.
It’s hard for me not to help when someone shares something that concerns them. We must pray and ask the Lord to show us. In some situations, their concerns are beyond my skill sets and abilities, but God let me hear about areas and people who may be in a better position to offer better assistance. I realized that you were helping me.
Hospitality comes in many forms. In some cases, they become us directly by offering help, providing financial resources, or listening. We may also refer the need to someone else within our sphere of influence who can best help.
Sometimes I have a hard time asking others for help. Whenever I feel this happening, I am reminded of being told, “Don’t take away the opportunity to be blessed by others.” These words remain in my heart. Because I never wish that the person who was guided for me could not be a blessing.
When I think of hospitality, I can’t help but think of the Bible. Acts 2:44-46, which tells us: They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together in the temple every day, gathered in their homes for the Lord’s Supper, and ate together with great joy and generosity. ” What a beautiful picture this is. To have the opportunity to see people worship together and share all that they have. How kind would it be to witness that in our world today?
God’s ultimate plan for hospitality
Years ago I read a book The gospel comes with house keys By Rosario Butterfield. In this book she talks about seeing our homes as places that embody the gospel message. When we can open our homes to neighbors of all walks of life, we see how the gospel can bring together people who think the world can’t get along. No need to recite. Sometimes it’s just a matter of living it.
I don’t know why the Lord puts us in a particular area or zip code, but there is certainly a strategic reason. God is intentional in all things. He can use our homes to ignite conversations that show people are loved, seen, valued and cared for.
For a single neighbor, it might mean that you don’t have to eat dinner alone, or for a neighbor who just moved to town, it might mean that you have a friendly face willing to help. Maybe… Through hospitality, we have the opportunity to come into contact with the Bible every day. We cannot underestimate the way hospitality opens the door for someone to experience Jesus in a fresh way. Open doors to show kindness.
When God lets our eyes see what we need, it opens the door for us to look for ways to entertain them.
Practical and Biblical Hospitality
Here are some practical ways to practice biblical hospitality.
1. Pray to the Lord for ways to be hospitable. We all have different passions and skill sets. Ask the Lord how you can use what you have this season to practice hospitality. It can be as simple as inviting someone for a walk, reaching out to a single mom, or opening a house to a college student at church. God reveals how to be hospitable and meet the needs of the community. He rejoices in seeing us show love to his people. What a beautiful picture the gospel is when you can choose to help others instead of keeping everything to yourself.
2. Create an environment that fosters community: One way to show hospitality is to make people feel noticed, valued, and safe. It’s in your home and in your daily conversations. We must truly seek comfort for those entrusted to us. As we nurture communities like this, we soften their hearts and open the door to receive what the Lord can lead you to share. We weren’t made to go through life alone.
3. Always look for opportunities to serve. There is always an opportunity to serve someone, big or small. We need to maintain an attitude of mind with a desire to see how we can serve. ask how you can lighten their burden. Jesus came to earth to serve the people. We can follow his example by finding ways to serve the people of the world. Be hospitable to the people you meet and look for ways to serve them.
Four. Please respectfully control our words: Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let unwholesome speech come out of your mouth. Speak only what is helpful in upbuilding others according to their needs, for the benefit of those who hear.” Our words have power. We can choose words that lift or hurt someone. As believers, we should look for encouraging ways to use our words to help someone else. This world has beaten people enough. They don’t have to do the same to our lips.
Hospitality should exude from within us as believers. We must be people who are always looking for ways to bless others. Let the gospel be revealed through us as we practice biblical hospitality every day. May God show us why he put us in our workplaces, our neighborhoods, our churches. There is always a greater reason why God places us around those places and certain people. God is good and kind. He wants His goodness and kindness to be shown through us and for His people. We choose to cooperate with God. Let us be partners in hospitality for God’s people in whatever way God leads us.
Photo credit: ©Unsplash/Aaron Burden