Friday, August 26, 2016

Are You A Welcoming Person?

Readings for the Day
Jeremiah 50-51, 3 John

Verses for the Day
5 Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you. 6 They have told the church about your love. Please send them on their way in a manner that honors God. 7 It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. 8 We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth.

Thoughts for the Day
3 John is the shortest letter in the bible, and is a relatively obscure letter. The letter is from a specific person, most likely John, to his friend Gaius. John commends Gaius for his faithfulness in welcoming the missionaries that came to his church. He was hospitable to these travelers showing his faith, generosity and hospitality. He was unlike another leader in the church, Diotrephes, who only thought of himself and did not welcome them.

Hospitality is a spiritual that some have more of than others. Here is a brief description of this gift, "This gift equips one to enjoy making guests, strangers, and members feel welcome. An example of leading through hospitality would be greeting visitors, directing them to a class, or inviting them into one’s home (Mt. 25:35)."

It can be used simply as a "greeter" welcoming guests to church, or someone offering their home or resources to those in need in the Christian community. It is not easy to offer your home to another person, especially in our culture.

1 Peter 4:9-10 says this about hospitality,

"Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others."

Here are the characteristics of a person with this gift:

- Like to meet and greet new people and have “never met a stranger”
- Are willing to open up their home to local and traveling members, visitors, and neighbors, perhaps even for extended amounts of time
- Enjoy putting together social parties and get togethers
- Have a strong desire and ability to make strangers and visitors feel welcome.

In an increasingly secular and fearful culture, hospitality sets the Christian community apart as those who welcome people in Jesus' name.

In the book of Hebrews the writer says we may not know who we are welcoming when we offer hospitality.

"Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it." 13:2

Do you offer hospitality to others? Why? Or, why not?

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