hospitality

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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Jesus Invites You to the Table

“When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ ” – Matthew 9:11 Have you thought about having an eating ministry the way Jesus did? Jesus dined with people from all walks of life; from the elite to the worst of sinners. Is there someone you feel reluctant about but are supposed to love? Invite them over for some good food, especially if you’re a good cook. God doesn’t make good cooks for no reason, He makes them for reconciliation. If you’re not a great cook, ask for help! One of my favorite stories is from Daryl Davis, a committed Christian and black man. Back in the 1960s in Massachusetts when he was ten years old, he was the only black kid in his Boy Scout troop. At this tender age, he’d never experienced racism. As a Boy Scout, he

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Don’t Overreact, Over-Serve

“If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.” – Matthew 5:41 Yesterday we talked about how Jesus teaches us to respond to injustice when someone steals from us. Today, I want to look at the third and final illustration He gives about acting lovingly towards our enemies: give them more than they ask for! Allow me to explain: In Jesus’ day, Roman soldiers would often walk down the road with a heavy pack that held their armor and other items. Sometimes they would see a random person and say, “Hey you, take this!” and force them to carry the weight of their load, even though it wasn’t theirs to carry. Obviously, this was an injustice and anyone put in that position would naturally be upset. However, Jesus used this illustration to teach us how to transform oppression into an opportunity to love. Rather than viewing

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God Loves Gatherings

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” – Matthew 18:20 Yesterday, we talked about the amazing truth that Jesus chooses to make His home in us, His followers. Thus, when two or more of us gather together, we experience His presence and see new facets of His love through others. In fact, as I write this, I can’t help but remember the wonderful get-togethers at my Grandpa and Grandma Schuller’s house as I was growing up. Though ours was a big family and we didn’t all see each other often, when we gathered at Christmas and Easter, there was a wonderful sense of warmth and worship (my Grandma even had an organ built in the dining room so we could sing together at meals). I dealt with a lot coming from a divorced household and going back and forth between two parents, but

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God’s House

“And as he taught them, he said, ‘Is it not written: “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations”? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” – Mark 11:17 Did you know that ancient Jews didn’t call the temple the temple? This description was given later, but in Jesus’ day, it was simply known as “the house.” Just like people, God has a dwelling, and though His permanent residence is in Heaven, He chose a particular location in which to contain His glory in Old Testament times. This means that the Spirit of Jehovah lived at the temple, and it belonged to everyone who followed Him. It was the center of Jewish life, and it was the place where the hurting, broken, and outcast could find safety and experience His heart. This is precisely why it upset Him so much when the money changers turned

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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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Welcoming Jesus

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” – Revelation 3:20 If you’ve been listening to me for any length of time, you know that I’m passionate about hospitality. In fact, I believe that offering an open and safe place for people’s hearts is one of the most effective ways to expand the Kingdom of God. And while the human manner of welcoming happens primarily in person-to-person relationships, there’s another type that’s important to our spiritual lives, and that is creating a warm and inviting home for God Himself. You see, when we said yes to Jesus Christ, the Lord of all Creation came to live inside of us, and now, we’re called to make His stay as fruitful as possible. This doesn’t mean we should

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Sitting Down With Sinners

“While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples.” – Matthew 9:10 For the past few days, we’ve talked about three types of “untouchables” whom Jesus readily touched — lepers, Samaritans, and Pharisees — and what His actions teach us about extending love to the least deserving in our lives. Today, I want to examine the fourth and final group of outcasts our Savior welcomed, and that is tax collectors and sinners. Perhaps the most shocking of all, these were the gang members, derelicts, and drug addicts of the day — the kind we would be afraid to go near. They were also the robbers and crooks; the type who were known to have no regard for the people who tried to do right by God and their fellow man. In fact, tax collectors were considered the worst

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Belong Before You Believe

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” – Matthew 25:35 Yesterday, I shared that my family moved to Oklahoma when I was a teenager and how, even though the transition was tough, the Lord set me up for some great things in that season. In fact, one of the biggest blessings I found was a vital youth group. As a ministry of Church on the Move, it was one of the largest in the country and had well over 2,000 young people in attendance each week. They had their own building half a mile from the main church campus, and from the minute I walked in, I felt welcome. It was a high schooler’s paradise, and as I looked around, I saw industrial cages with guys playing

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INVITE SOMEONE…

“…not giving up meeting together…encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” -Hebrews 10:25

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