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Old 07-31-2009, 09:20 AM
Amanda S.'s Avatar
Amanda S. Amanda S. is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: TN
Posts: 177
Default Hospitality

Since I have been challenged to only post in topics that I have thoroughly studied out, I thought I would share with you what I wrote on my blog a few months back on a subject near and dear to my heart.

I would love to hear what you all have to add to this forgotten, neglected, or forsaken command as I am sure I have more yet to learn.

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Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;…..Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
Romans 12:10, 13

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
I Peter 4:8-9


In this busy, busy life it is easy to lose sight of this Biblical command of hospitality. While it is true that we may all be busy about the right things, family life, household duties, homeschooling, church work etc. hospitality is also an important “duty” for a Christian. It is a “duty” that most of us don’t realize the effect it can have in our churches and in our families.

Alexander Strauch in Hospitality Commands says:
“Through the ministry of hospitality, we share our most prized possessions. We share our family, home, finances, food, privacy, and time. Indeed we share our very lives. So, hospitality is always costly.”

Wow! Isn’t that so true!? And what is more important to America (and sadly American Christians!) than their free-time & money!? Not much…

He goes on to say:
“Through the ministry of hospitality, we provide friendship, acceptance, fellowship, refreshment, comfort, and love in one of the richest and deepest ways possible for humans to understand. Unless we open the doors of our homes to one another, the reality of the local church as a close-knit family of loving brothers and sisters is only a theory.”

Does your friendliness, hospitality and love for the brethren end when you get into your car to go home? Or do you invite your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to share in your life, in your family’s life?

In case your envisioning setting the perfect table, scouring your recipe books for the best recipes for delectable desserts…I am not necessarily talking about “entertaining.” Entertaining and giving hospitality are 2 totally separate things.

Consider this statement in Open Heart, Open Home:
“Entertaining has little to do with real hospitality. Secular entertaining is a terrible bondage. Its source is human pride. Demanding, perfecting, fostering the urge to impress, it is a rigorous taskmaster that enslaves. In contrast, scriptural hospitality is a freedom that liberates.

Entertaining says, ‘I want to impress you with my beautiful home, my clever decorating, my gourmet cooking.’ Hospitality, however, seeks to minister. It says, ‘This home is not mine. It is truly a gift from my Master. I am His servant, and I use it as He desires. Hospitality does not try to impress but to serve.”

If you really think about it, the urge for perfection, the need to have things just so, is not for the other person…but is for you…pure selfishness.

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Philippians 2:3

Not to suggest though that giving hospitality is not hard work. Our flesh will not always enjoy the exercise. It will require preparation, time, money. But everything that is really valuable, costs. Hospitality is a true test of our love for the Lord and for His people.

We need to remember that our homes are not only ours to enjoy but can be used as a tool to be a blessing and encouragement to others, Christians and non-Christians alike.
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Do any of you have any thoughts on how we can effectively encourage the brethren by practicing the hospitality command? Why is this practice so foreign to us Bible Believers today?

My husband pastored a church for 9 + years and I can count on 1 hand in that 9 years of how many times we were invited over. The times other church members mingled with other church members? Less than that.

I say this not because I am offended. I DO understand the everyday demands on us with jobs and children and often homeschooling...but I say this with sadness that we've become so focused on our needs to the exclusion of others.

Usually the things in life that reap a great reward requires sacrifice on our part. It is sacrificial to give up our time and money to be hospitable to our brethren. It requires us to give up our free time in our comfies and get up and do a little work. Let's not forget about the blessings we reap or the blessing we can be to another by opening up our homes, sharing our lives, our most blessed possession this side of heaven. For instance, we are never commanded to have many children, but the Bible tells us that children are a blessing and a reward...why would we want to limit a reward!? If it was a monetary reward would people tell the Lord "No Lord...I only want $100,000. Do NOT bless me with $300,000!!!"

Proclaiming your love for the brethren at church only is mouth service. I think you will agree though that circumstances sometimes prevent one from practicing this all the time...But it's not hard to see if it is circumstances or a heart attitude, ignorance or indifference. And honestly it is a rare topic of sermons so perhaps some Christians just don't know.....? Perhaps they've never read it, studied it.

But we can certainly be an example. Even if the action of our love is not returned we are still told we should be hospitable. I think that is why the verse says "without grudging"!!

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
I Peter 4:8-9


Is it not in our nature if we've invited people over, shared our home and food with them for it to never be returned say to ourselves "Yeah well...They're going to have invite ME over next. It's their turn...I've done my part!"
Another thing important thing to remember is:


Php 2:14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:


But really, how important is this???!!

Joh 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Sounds pretty important!!! How will people know us from the world? If we LOVE one another!!!

Blessings!
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