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Living Effectively for Christ 11: Being Hospitable: Making Them Feel at Home

Living Effectively for Christ Day 11 – Being Hospitable: Making Them Feel at Home

I walked through the house checking off a mental list: clean, tidy rooms (check); linens freshly washed and beds made (check); fresh, delicious foods in the fridge to make their favorite meals and the best coffee and dessert to encourage lingering over conversation (check); flowers in their favorite colors in a simple vase on the dresser and the kitchen table (check and check). We were ready and excited to welcome one of our favorite people to stay with us for a few days!

Preparing our home for a beloved overnight guest, being thoughtful of all that will make them feel personally valued, safe, cared for, cozy and comfortable in our home, is one beautiful picture of hospitality. But as a believer desiring to live for Christ, true hospitality is a deeper, broader goal worth pursuing!

THE LORD JESUS EXTENDS GENEROUS HOSPITALITY TO US:

“There is more than enough room in My Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am.” (John 14:2-3, NLT)

No one else knows us better, loves us more deeply, or has the means to prepare a place that will truly feel like “home” to us! I can only imagine that each “place” will be uniquely designed and perfectly suited for each child of God. It is His joy to delight us. But His desire expressed in those last few words thrills me the most. He wants me to be with Him, in the glory of the Father’s house, always! The Lord Jesus is not just creating a comfortable, inviting space for me, but has secured and is nurturing a treasured relationship with me!

THE LORD JESUS LONGS FOR US TO EXTEND HOSPITALITY TO HIM:

“I stand at the door and knock. If you hear My voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” (Revelation 3:20, NLT)

Would the Lord Jesus feel welcome in our homes? Are we thoughtful of what would make Him feel “at home” there? Do we consider what delights His heart and work hard to cultivate an atmosphere where He will be honored? Do we choose to set other things aside to linger over conversation with Him, to invest in a deepening, growing relationship with Him? May we treasure His desire to spend time with us and eagerly welcome Him in!

THROUGH NEW TESTAMENT WRITERS, GOD CALLS US TO REFLECT HIS HEART THROUGH HOSPITALITY TO OTHERS:

“When God’s  people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.” (Romans 12:13, NLT)

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers.” (Hebrews 13:2, NIV)

To truly reflect the heart of God, may we be compelled to extend hospitality to all people, not just to those with whom we have an established connection or those we especially enjoy spending time with, but to anyone the Lord brings across our path. May we trust His Spirit to teach us how to make others feel seen, valued, and cared for!  

Offering our time, space, or resources in big and small ways can be used by God to put someone else at ease, to help them feel more “at home” in whatever circumstance they are facing. It can be giving a helping hand in carrying someone’s bags, a watchful eye to be sure someone makes it safely across the street, offering someone a ride, opening our homes for someone to enjoy a meal or to host a gathering, or simply sitting beside someone who might be visiting our local church for the first time. There are many ways we can extend simple or generous hospitality to loved ones and strangers alike!  

THE TRUE HEART OF THE GOSPEL COMPELS US TO EXTEND HOSPITALITY EVEN TO OUR ENEMIES:

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies… my cup overflows.” (Psalm 23:5, ESV)

This passage assures us that even in the midst of a battle, with real enemies threatening, our Good Shepherd prepares a table for us. We can still feel safe and provided for; we need not fear. But could He also be showing us and equipping us to love like He does by extending an invitation to those very enemies to join us, to make room at the table for even those who oppose and attack us to enjoy His unconditional generosity?

“To you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you.” (Luke 6:27-28, NLT)

This is the gospel. This is the heart of Christ. The very One who has promised to prepare a place for us in the Father’s house and to come to take us to be with Him, in intimate relationship for all eternity, gave His own life’s blood to redeem us when we were still His enemies! The gospel transforms lives and relationships. The love of Christ shown through true hospitality to the most unlikely recipient has the power to impact another person, and their relationship with God and with others!

“Biblical hospitality can be defined as an invitation to step outside our comfort zones and offer provision, comfort, safety, and love to strangers and those in need. Often, this is inviting others into our homes and offering a safe place for them to feel the love of Jesus in our service and friendship.” (Ashley Nicole Harris, faithfullyplanted.com)

As our Lord Jesus has done for us, may we be looking for ways to meet hurting, lonely hearts with sincere care through hospitality. Let us endeavor to prepare a place for others, to invite them into genuine relationship. May our attitudes and actions convey the reality that there is always a place for them, that we long for them to feel “at home” with us, an integral part of a family, where they will be seen, where needs can be anticipated, where they can relax, unwind, linger unhurried, feel safe, and enjoy a place to breathe and unburden their hearts. 

Are we willing and eager to open our hearts and our homes, to welcome new connections, to forge new relationships, whether for a passing moment or a long-term friendship? Do we embrace the true heart of Jesus to notice others, see their needs, and ask for the Father’s help and provision to reach out in genuine care and generous hospitality?

Let’s challenge one another to pursue a deeper understanding of and a stronger commitment to God’s heart of true hospitality!

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