Enjoying the Journey
Every week I have the privilege of being hosted by wonderful Christians. While there is “no place like home” it is also true that there is “nothing like being with God’s people.” It’s more than friendship – it’s family. Recently as I spent time with some very gracious people I was reminded of the necessity and purpose of Christian hospitality.
In the ancient world to open your home was to open your heart. The Apostle Paul repeatedly referenced the kindness that was shown to him on his missionary travels. Christian hospitality is more than merely meeting human needs – it is showing the love of God.
The Lord Jesus Christ was frequently hosted in homes and blessed by the kindness of others. In turn, He also served as Host to others!
Christian hospitality opens the heart of God to others. Showing hospitality is one of the greatest ways to demonstrate the love and kindness of God. It does more than say, “God bless you.” It allows us to be a channel for that blessing to others. This is why one of the requirements for the pastor is that he be “given to hospitality” (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8). But that is not just true of the pastor! It is to be exemplified by him so that others will do the same (Romans 12:13; 1 Peter 4:9).
Christian hospitality opens the heart of others to God.As the love of God is shown the hearts of others are tendered. A meal, a place to stay, some kindness performed, some generosity shown, all of these become opportunities to minister to greater needs. Hospitality can become a platform for the sharing Christ or the means of encouraging hurting hearts. Hospitality is not the end in itself – showing the goodness of God to others and drawing them nearer to Him should always be our goal.
As you open your heart and home to others you may be opening a door for the gospel. John wrote to one man, “Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well…We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth” (3 John 4-5, 7).
Christian hospitality opens our heart to God and others. Isn’t it amazing how God has designed life so that what is good for others is also good for us? He works on both ends! As we minister to others the Lord ministers to us. Hospitality can become the Lord’s classroom to teach us, or the Lord’s hospital to heal us. As you seek to be a blessing you will find blessing yourself.
In our busy world Christian hospitality is becoming a lost art. This generation knows little of opening their homes and hearts to ministers, to fellow believers, or to strangers. Yet this is one of the ways that God has designed for others to be lifted up and His work to go forward. Ask the Lord how you can show Christ’s heart through Christian hospitality today.
“Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:1-2).