Last Sunday our church had it's quarterly meeting and Mr. Sides gave a wonderful talk on hospitality and what hospitality should look like in the church. Here are some of my thoughts on the talk:
Romans 12: 9-139 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
10 In love of the brethren be tenderly affectioned one to another; in honor preferring one another;
11 in diligence not slothful; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
12 rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing steadfastly in prayer;
13 communicating to the necessities of the saints; given to hospitality.
This is specifically talking about showing hospitality to the saints. Christians are only forbidden to show hospitality to false teachers and people, who, having been through church discipline are still unrepentant. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves and, in doing so, hospitality is definitely not optional.
1 Peter 4:8-108 above all things being fervent in your love among yourselves; for love covereth a multitude of sins: 9 using hospitality one to another without murmuring: 10 according as each hath received a gift, ministering it among yourselves, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God;
We can't really understand what love is until we look at the manifestations of it. Practicing hospitality gives us an opportunity to "cover a multitude of sins." Since we are spending time with these people we learn to serve them without grumbling and overlook their faults; instead, spending time with them strengthening them in the faith. We shouldn't judge others based on their hospitality. We have all been given different gifts but that is no excuse for not practicing hospitality. We have all been granted an abundance with which to be hospitable.
|1||Let love of the brethren continue.|
|2||Forget not to show love unto strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.|
How do we let the love of the brethren continue? Show hospitality. When practicing hospitality we are practicing an act of grace, not an industry. We should not be doing it for the benefits and material goods that we might receive. When someone offers us hospitality we can, in return, be good guests by contributing to our host and hostess. We should all the more practice hospitality because, we, at the end of all time hope to be guests at the marriage supper of The Lamb.
Points of Application:-We should not use the commands to judge our brethren according to their level of hospitality.
-Rather than trying to impress a family through our hospitality, we should seek to minister to them.
-Hospitality is a form of controlled evangelism. If the people in our home are not believers they see how we live our daily life for Christ.
-Hospitality is a way entire families can contribute to the needs of the saints.
-We cannot completely attain the virtue of hospitality-we keep practicing it until the end of our days on earth.
-Hospitality is not measured by attainment but by personal maturity. Therefore, do not judge your neighbor's level of hospitality.
-By studying guests and by studying people who are good hosts and hostesses we can be learning how to better practice hospitality.
-Thinking that we are not so good at hospitality as 'Mrs. So-and-So', or we just don't have the gift of hospitality that 'Mr. So-and-So' has is no excuse to refrain from practicing hospitality.