What does the word hospitality mean to you?
My heart has been hospitality burdened over the last couple of months.
Taking first steps is difficult for a first-time guest who either
never got into the habit of church attendance or is far removed from the habit. That insight makes me want to be sure that their experience is favorable and filled with God’s love.
1 Peter 4:9 says rather plainly, “Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.” This hospitable word literally has to do with showing God’s love to strangers and guests.
This Holy Spirit-inspired verse feels more like a command than a suggestion. And to take things beyond mere obedience, I must want to do this for my welcoming behavior to be “without grumbling.”
Let me share these 5 powerful words about hospitality with you. I’ve shared these with my congregation during recent spoken-ministry opportunities, and they’re ready for you to apply in your ministry setting.
- When there was nothing in our lives worthy of His hospitality, God welcomed us with Good News. Therefore, our lives should serve as open doors and welcome mats into His Church.
- Hospitality is the practice of Heaven. It is, therefore, the heartbeat of our Gospel and the atmosphere that we seek to create within our homes and houses of worship.
- Our local church might not be the church for everybody that comes in for a Sunday service, and that’s okay. But if we fail to show the love of Christ and His hospitality, that’s not okay!
- A whole modern industry has been raised up on what God placed within us long ago. It was the rule of the ancient orient, and it was the commitment of the Early Church. It’s called hospitality, and it is the heartbeat of our Gospel!
- The only form of favoritism that we should be guilty of is called hospitality. We will give the royal treatment of love to first-time guests because they need God’s grace-filled hospitality.
Without grumbling, we are called to demonstrate God’s love with welcoming behavior at our houses of worship. Whether it’s a stranger or another church attendee that you don’t usually interact with, be hospitable.
Why should this be a priority? In God’s House (Kingdom), there’s always room for one more. The Father’s arms are always wide open. And the Lord of the Harvest is also the Lord of Hospitality.
It’s time to confess that we can all do better. And empowered by the grace of the Lord of Hospitality, we will do better.
If you are not a Christian, thank you for reading this. Please know that without regard for how dirty you are or who you’ve been keeping company with, Heaven’s VACANCY sign is always on. God alone has the power to forgive and cleanse you, and make you one of His own.
Is your church a welcoming body of believers with good hospitality habits in place? Are you a welcoming Christian with good hospitality habits?