The Blessing of Hospitality

“Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.” – Genesis 18:5 For Christians, Abraham is seen as the “father of the faith” and is honored for his obedience. As people of faith, we can follow in his footsteps with a sense of purpose and calling. Abraham, who received great blessings from the Lord, lived out His purpose, which included being a hospitable person. We also see the example of hospitality through many of the great men and women of the Bible. One of my favorite stories that I was meditating on this morning is when Abraham meets the three men as found in Genesis chapter eighteen. These men, who are of God, were walking aways off when Abraham saw them. He runs out to them and invites them to come to his tent.

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God’s Covenant Bearer

“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” – Genesis 12:2-4 4,000 years ago in the Ancient East, the world was a dangerous place, full of sickness, plague, famine, and drought. Struggling humanity survived through the enactment of covenants, or permanent promises made between two tribes that combined their strengths, assets, and property. The idea was that when both groups came together, they were stronger, wealthier, and wiser than they were on their own. Such agreements were typically made during a ceremony wherein two tribes faced each other, sang songs, and performed sacrificial rites. The tribal chiefs would exchange coats as a sign of honor and then they would

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God is Your Guide

“With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, ‘Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.’ When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the Lord was merciful to them.” – Genesis 19:15,16 Yesterday, we looked at how God and two angels stopped by Abraham’s tent and warned him that they were going to Sodom and Gomorrah to assess the conditions there, and if need be, swiftly execute judgment. Later, when they arrived at the city gate, Abraham’s nephew Lot was waiting for them. Possibly having heard about the Lord’s intent to destroy his hometown, he wanted to get the men to his house, either to deter them or to keep them safe. Unfortunately,

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God Doesn’t Act in Haste

“The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. Then Abraham approached him and said: ‘Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?’” – Genesis 18:22-24 For the past two days, we’ve looked at the events that transpired when God visited Abraham at his tent in Genesis 18. As we saw, the nomad went out of his way to welcome the Lord, and his generous hospitality remains a source of inspiration for us as we make the Holy Spirit at home in our lives today. However, something else happened during this interesting encounter, and it came in the form of a warning. The Almighty told His covenant-bearer that He was considering destroying

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God Brings Good News

“Then one of them said, ‘I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.’ Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing.” – Genesis 18:10,11 Yesterday, we talked about how Abraham lavishly welcomed God and His angels to his tent. He washed their feet, had Sarah bake them fresh bread, and fed them steak from his fatted calf. In other words, He spared no expense to show them hospitality, and neither should we. Since the Father of Creation sent His Son, who humbled Himself to the point of death on a cross and then came to live inside of us, we are free to fully surrender our lives to His service. In fact, welcoming Him and walking in His

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A Visit From God

“The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.” – Genesis 18:1,2 Yesterday, we discussed creating a hospitable place for Jesus in our hearts and lives. Interestingly, in Genesis 18, there’s an account of Abraham doing this very thing, only he had the honor of welcoming the Lord in the flesh. Taking the form of three men, most likely God and two angels, they appeared to him outside his tent in the heat of the day. Once he realized who they were, he ran to them quickly and bowed down low. Although ancient Middle Eastern culture was known to be hospitable, his

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Filled in Order to Be Spilled

“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” – Genesis 12:2 As we unpack what it means to live a life that overflows with abundance, let’s consider God’s intent in giving us more than we need. Yesterday, we learned that it’s our Good Shepherd’s desire to fill our cups until they run over so that His grace and provision spill into every area of our lives. Today, I want to talk about our responsibility as recipients of these overflowing blessings. I love to use the example of Abraham, who was an elderly and childless man living in his dad’s house when the Lord told him that He would make him the father of many nations. Though this nomad saw very little hope for his future, he pressed into his Heavenly Father’s promise, and

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Something From Nothing

“As it is written: ‘I have made you a father of many nations.’ He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.” – Romans 4:17 When we examine the story of Creation, it comes down to God making something out of nothing. Because He is the Beginning and the End, all power is in His hands, and He has the authority to call things that are not as though they are. While human beings are blessed with the ability to create in His image, we are bound to employ in our designs that which already exists. But this is not the case with our Heavenly Father — He is the originator of all. As people, our minds are finite and our thinking is limited to that which we can see and

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Be An Oasis

“He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs.” – Psalm 107:35 As modern-day believers, we often lose sight of how fragile the ancient world was. Though we look at what’s going on today and see chaos, it’s nothing compared to the evil, war, and paganism that were prevalent in Biblical times. In those days, earthly rulers were constantly shedding the blood of innocent people to attain greater power, and even worse, idolatry was the norm. Now when I say idolatry, I don’t mean just bowing down to statues or shrines — I mean the abuse of women and children, and often their death. Slavery was common, and so was human sacrifice — it was a culture of brutality, aggression, and violence. Yet into that dark night, a small seed of hope was born. The God of Creation chose Abraham and his clan, an

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