Anyone who understands my heart knows that I am big on hospitality, whether in the church or at home. The reason I’m so passionate about making people feel welcome is because I truly believe that it opens up their hearts to receive the love of Jesus. When others know that they are safe in our presence, they feel free to let their guard down and receive healing and forgiveness. This brings me to a sometimes overlooked part of a well-known story in the book of Acts that refers to John Mark’s mother, who was named Mary. Peter had just escaped from prison and somehow knew that he would find his brothers and sisters at her residence. From his familiarity with it, we can infer that her home had become a prominent place of meeting for the church, after persecution drove it away from the temple and into hiding. Since the house is described as belonging to her, we can also assume that she was widowed and probably quite wealthy, as her property had an outer gate and could accommodate many people. Somehow the believers felt safe there, and her courage and hospitality enabled the power of God to flood the lives of those early Christians so the Gospel could continue to be spread.
My friend, you don’t need to evangelize thousands to make a difference in the Kingdom of God. Never underestimate the power of an act as simple as opening up your home to a stranger or taking an acquaintance to lunch. Whatever the Lord has blessed and entrusted you with can be used to bring His love to those who are frightened and wandering. When you endeavor to make safe the various atmospheres that surround you, your hospitality opens hearts and expands the Kingdom of Heaven. Hang a welcome sign on the door of your life and make it a place through which weary souls can enter and find respite, retreat, and a living example of Jesus.