Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Why is Hospitality Important

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,”[a] says the Lord. 20 Therefore“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;If he is thirsty, give him a drink;For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”[b]21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.  Romans 12:  9-21 

Why is hospitality important?  Why is it listed among other things, to love without hypocrisy, abhorring evil, serving the Lord, being kind, putting others first, patient in trials and being steadfast in prayer, surely it isn’t that important?  Why would it listed in a pasage that instructs us on how best to behave as Christians?

Hospitality is a means of:
1.  Sharing fellowship with other believers.  You want to grow your Life group, start practicing hospitality.  You want to feel better connected to your friends practice hospitality; you want to grow in the body practice hospitality.  Early believers didn’t just practice hospitality because there was no Holiday Inn or Applebee’s.  It grew their faith when sharing with other believers.  It is a witness to the fellowship that believers enjoy with each other.

2.  A means of ministering to the hurting.  You want to be an encouragement to other believers, practice hospitality.  You want to show your love to others practice hospitality. It is a testimony to the love and caring that we are instructed to have toward one another as fellow believers in Christ.

3.  Sharing Christ with unbelievers.  Have you been wondering how to share Jesus with your co-worker, neighbor, friend, and start by inviting them into your home? Hospitality shows to others that we value what we have Christ and we care enough about them to share it with them.

Hospitality models Christ love to a hurting world.  I think we live in a world that is longing to see genuine believers who live out what they say they believe.  Hospitality is a means of doing this.  Through hospitality we model Christ’s love to a world that desperately needs it.  Hospitality is a tangible means of sharing Christ’s love.  By inviting someone into our home we move beyond just words of caring, concern and we show that love in action and yes sometimes by our sacrifice. 

Friends I am not saying it is never OK to go out to dinner at a restaurant, but when I extend the invitation to my home I am giving of myself on entirely different level.  It becomes a sacrifice of
-       Time - the time it takes to plan and prepare as well as clean up our homes.
-       Finances- eating out isn't cheap, but neither is cooking at home.
-       Family-time alone with our family is precious.
-       Privacy-we let you see us in our own environment.

Hospitality makes you vulnerable, we allow someone else into our private sanctuary.  But with that vunerability comes an intimacy that is far and above what can be experienced in a public place.  It speaks volumes to our guests and allows us the opportunity make lasting friendships.

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