Hospitality is defined as the practice of entertaining strangers graciously. Hospitality was a very important trait in biblical times and was specifically commanded by God. Kindness and graciousness toward others, especially fellow believers. Hospitality is the fruit of a transformed, Spirit-filled life. It is showing an interest in others and giving ourselves to loving and supporting them, even as God loves us.
“And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:33-34 NKJV
“Then He also said to him who invited Him, ‘When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.’” Luke 14:12-14 NKJV
“Distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.” Romans 12:13 NKJ
Being given to hospitality should be a characteristic of all believers, especially leaders, namely Bishops. “This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover, he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” 1 Timothy 3:1-7 NKJV
“For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.” Titus 1:7-9 NKJV
We are to extend hospitality with a joyful heart. “Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.” 1 Peter 4:9 NKJV
Jesus emphasized the importance of hospitality by answering the question of who should inherit the kingdom. “For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in.” Matthew 25:35
When Jesus sent out the twelve disciples He commanded them saying; “Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts, nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food. Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. And when you go into a household, greet it. If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.” Matthew 10:9-15 NKJV
“Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” Luke 9:4-5 NKJV
As Christians, believers, and followers of Christ we must be given to hospitality.
I enjoy movies with a meaning and a message, sitting in the park overlooking the water, and eating my favorite ice cream Heavenly Hash.
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