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Priorities for Extraordinary Times, Part 3

1 Peter 4:7-11

From 1 Peter 4:7-11, we are discussing the priorities we should have for the extraordinary times in which we live. Peter makes it clear that whether we live in Biblical times or today, the end of our lives or the return of Jesus is closer than any of us think. When will we see the end of times and see Jesus?

Obviously we don’t know, but Scripture encourages us to live our lives with the possibility of their end or the end of time in mind. This verse reminds me of an old story: one of those Good News/Bad News stories. The story goes that two baseball-loving friends made an agreement that whichever one died first would come back and let the other one know if there was baseball in heaven.

 

Sadly, the first one died suddenly and—keeping his promise—got a special dispensation from Saint Peter to contact his friend by floating a note out of the sky. This is what note said: "Hey, the good news is that there is baseball in heaven. The bad news is that you’re pitching Friday."

It is important we live with the realization that some day we will face our God and give an account for the way we have lived our lives. This is why I love 1 Peter 4:7-11, because it gives us specific priorities we should choose in light of the extraordinary times in which we live biblically, as a nation and as a church.

Thus far we have seen two priorities for the extraordinary times in which we live.

 The first priority (for extraordinary times) is to pray.

v. 7—"The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray."

One of our members really encouraged me when he showed me the calendar book he was keeping to record the highlights of the prayers he was praying every day. He was excited for the heart he was developing and the changes he was seeing in his life. The challenges have never been greater for Hillcrest Chapel, so please accept the B.O.B. challenge and pray every day for Hillcrest Chapel for the next six months. Toward the end of June we will compare notes and tell stories of what God has done for those who have accepted the challenge to pray for this season.

Last week we continued on with our passage. We saw:

 The second priority is to love one another.

1 Peter 4:8—"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." After expanding on 1 Peter 4:8 and 1 Corinthians 13, we received the LOVE challenge:

Love others deeply (1 Pet. 4:8).

Open wide your hearts to others—risk! (2 Cor. 6:13)

Verbalize your love with encouraging and uplifting words that show you value the one you love (Eph. 4:29).

Engage others in small groups and other relational circles on a regular basis (Acts 2:46).

Now we are going to focus on another priority Peter has for us when the end is near. There is no retreat into inactivity. On the contrary, we are to press into new areas of challenge and ministry.

 The third priority is to offer hospitality.

"Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling"—1 Pet. 4:9.

When I was growing up, hospitality was a normal activity for our family. Almost every pastor, visiting speaker, family member and friend was at our house on some occasion—mostly for Sunday dinner. We also had people that were new or outside the core of our church. We provided food for children, families, teenagers who had needs or no family.

 

It was quite an education to have missionaries like Mark Buntain from India and others at our dinner table to share their lives and stories with us! It was interesting to watch my mom involved in hospitality. She would use similar menus and do much the same thing with each group. I asked my brother recently what recipes he remembers serving company. His were the same as mine—sloppy joes, tacos, and roast beef dinners. It wasn’t a complicated process, and my mom loved it. She always had a good attitude about hospitality and including others in our life. This was a good model for me.

Peter is advocating a number of actions and attitudes that I saw in my mom.

 

The Action to take: What does it mean to offer hospitality?

In its narrowest terms, it relates to the household as the main arena of expression and application. In its broadest definition (the one the Scripture illustrates), it means to include, acknowledge, provide for, supply, or assimilate/connect with another. In summary it means provision, protection and connection. The means to apply hospitality is through greetings, service, gifts, provision, and all forms of showing appreciation and can include providing temporary housing.

Its focus is on those near to us and those who have no community life or relationship.

The spirit of this broader sense of hospitality is referred to by many authors. Here are a few of the sources I have been reading or had recommended to me lately:

  1. Hospitality Clues for the Clueless, Promise Press, 1999.
  2. A Table of Grace, Alda Ellis, Harvest House, 2001.

One of our associates, Jim Murphy, and his small group, have been reading

  1. Making Room: Recovering Hospitality As a Christian Tradition by Christine D. Pohl, Eerdman’s Pub., 1999.

Peggy Murphy likes the book because she says it "redefines and broadens hospitality for the reader from the traditional view." Hospitality is often defined as entertainment rather than its original meaning. In reality, however, it also applies to those who have no community life and are not connected.

  1. A Christian View of Hospitality: Expecting Surprises (The Giving Project Series) by Michele Hershberger (Preface), Christine D. Pohl.

From all I read, here is one of my favorite quotes about hospitality. It is from someone who obviously modeled a hospitable lifestyle for all of us:

"Make sure in the beautiful place where you live, no child, no man, no woman feels unwanted or unloved. If you find someone who feels that way, open your doors, open your hearts to them"—Mother Teresa, Loving Jesus.

Looking back at the context and historical setting of 1 Peter 4:9:

Why was hospitality needed by those Peter was writing to?

The first few chapters of 1 Peter tell us that these were Jewish Christians who had been disbursed, quite possibly because of the great persecution by Nero. The only way people could travel in this day was to rely on the hospitality of fellow Christians in each city they came to. Many of the disbursed found a place to live, but others were not so fortunate and apparently some were showing up without any material possessions. Hospitality was a necessity for their existence.

This concept of hospitality is prevalent in many cultures. I still remember being in Northwest China and being invited to a home for a scrumptious array of pastries and food. The expectation was that we would describe our world and tell where we were from; in other words, tell them stories. This is only one of the reciprocal blessings that comes from acts of hospitality. In Peter’s time, and in many cultures today, the host provides food and protection and the guest, stories and perspective from the outside world. In other words they form sort of a partnership!

With this background in mind, let’s apply this command to our day:

Who is to grant hospitality? Is it an option for us?

The Scripture is clear.

Hospitality is a command that applies to all believers. Romans 12:9-13 urges us to practice hospitality.

9] Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10] Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11] Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12] Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13] Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Hebrews 13:1-2 also calls us to a hospitable lifestyle:

1] Keep on loving each other as brothers. 2] Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

So again, as we see in 1 Peter 4:8-9, love and hospitality are tied together and are commands for all believers. I f we get even more specific, Scripture indicates that

Hospitality is special proof of our fitness to serve in the community of believers.

  • Widows—1 Tim. 5:9-10.
  • Pastors/elders—1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:8.

 

If hospitality is demanded of all believers, then the question remains:

Who are we to offer this hospitality to?

Is it only to our friends and those we like? Again, look at our text. Here we see:

First, it is to be extended to other believers. "...offer hospitality to each other"—v. 9.

"It is important to note that the practice of hospitality not only assured strangers a minimum of provision, protection and connection…it also sustained normal network of relationships on which community depended, enriching moral and social bonds among family, friends and neighbors…the emphasis on the needy strangers as the recipients of hospitality did not rule out hospitality to family and friends"—Making Room, by Christine D. Pohl, Eerdman’s Pub., 1999.

I want us to think for a few minutes about the good results when a local church community, family, or individual is consistently offering hospitality. Here are a few of the more significant results:

  • It opens people up and provides doors for communication. This is especially helpful for the guests who are isolated and/or need to process some significant trial/circumstance they might be walking through.
  • It provides multiple models of spiritual life for children and new converts.
  • It’s a way to share with those in need.
  • It’s a way to encourage.
  • It provides an opportunity for a church to grow in influence, size and ministry.

There are many good biblical illustrations of the impact of hospitality. One of the best is found in Acts 2:42ff. Notice this broad view of hospitality in operation, and look for the various expressions of a hospitable spirit.

2:42] They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Fellowship is a form of hospitality.)

43]Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44]All the believers were together and had everything in common. (Sharing together expresses a hospitable spirit.)

45]Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. (Providing for others’ needs in a financial way is a form of hospitality.)

46]Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts (meeting together in homes is also a expression of hospitality),

47]praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

They sold their land and gave to others in need; they gave food; they met in homes and shared meals. The result of this intense ministry, fellowship and hospitality was that the church grew in influence and opportunity. This kind of hospitality is really the most common. The problem is, it doesn’t capture the full meaning of the word "hospitality." The definition of the key words indicates we are not only to offer hospitality to those we know who are fellow believers, but it is to be extended to believers who are strangers.

In fact, the most literal meaning of the word hospitality will surprise some who haven’t studied the word. It refers to a stranger who receives a welcome, so the concise definition of hospitality is "a lover of strangers." As we have seen, in the context of Paul’s day, the strangers were fellow believers who needed and desired refreshment on their journey. Hospitality was for those who needed provision, protection and connection.

The word "stranger" also means "to be entertained or to be surprised." So as we saw earlier, we offer a welcome and hospitality, and the stranger in turn brings a delightful surprise—usually stories, perspective.

We all know the word stranger has lost its meaning in our culture—"don’t talk to strangers." Though we know that most assaults and crimes come from acquaintances or even family members, sometimes our hearts tremble at the thought of entertaining strangers. So the word stranger needs to be elevated and infused with some Biblical content and examples.

If we look at Jesus, we see that His example of hospitality certainly encompassed the stranger and the needy as well.

Luke 14:13-14—"...when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14] and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

Another author says, "If we look at our Lord’s example, His guest list includes a number of poor and broken people, those who appear to bring little to any gathering except their need. The distinctive quality of Christian hospitality is that it offers a generous welcome to the ‘least’ without concern for advantage or benefit to the host. Such hospitality reflects God’s greater hospitality that welcomes the undeserving, provides the lonely a home and sets a banquet for the hungry.

"The intermingling of guest and host roles in the person of Jesus is part of what makes the story of hospitality so compelling for Christians. Jesus welcomes and needs welcome; Jesus requires that followers depend on and provide hospitality. The practice of hospitality is always located within the larger picture of Jesus’ sacrificial welcome to all who come to him."

"Images of God as gracious and generous host pervade the biblical materials. God provided manna and quail daily in the wilderness for a hungry and often ungrateful people. God offers shelter in a hot and dry land, and refreshment through living water....Writers in the New Testament portray Jesus as a gracious host, welcoming children and prostitutes, tax collectors and sinners into his presence. Such welcome startled and annoyed those who generally viewed themselves as the preferred guests at gatherings. But Jesus, God incarnate, is also portrayed as a vulnerable guest and needy stranger, one who ‘came to his own home’ and often received no welcome (John 1:11). In his life on earth, Jesus experienced the vulnerability of the homeless infant, the child refugee, the adult with no place to lay his head, the despised convict." (Recovering Hospitality, p. 16.)

Today we need to ask ourselves, who are the strangers in our midst? Who needs our hospitality? They could be the poor/needy whom we don’t know as well, but who need relief from their journey and some encouragement from our hospitality—James 2:1-11.

For example:

  1. The single parent who is experiencing financial needs and a lack of encouragement.
  2. The unemployed worker who needs prayer and a job lead.
  3. The widow who has no family or friends near to help them.
  4. The elderly in nursing facilities who have no one to visit them. Our college ministry has been doing this for over 26 years. Recently we began a hymn sing at a care facility for the same reason, to provide an opportunity for ministry and to sing hymns.
  5. Older relatives—ones we’ve lost contact with who are isolated and alone. (Most of us have relatives like that!) A number of years ago, when Nancy and I would go to visit my parents, we noticed that my aunt Marie was usually there for dinner. We also noticed that she had on the same clothes. So Nancy and I decided to send her some money on a regular basis so she could buy some clothes. But when we came back, we noticed she was still wearing shabby clothes. We found out that she was living on very little money and the money we were sending her was going to pay for food. My mother had figured this out and had her to dinner many times a week. Many of us have relatives who are like this. We may not be able to relate to all of them, but we should consider helping some.
  6. The poor who have little means to provide for themselves, so bringing them food or bringing food to the food bank.
  7. The sponsorship of a child through a Christian organization
  8. The unborn who have been abandoned by their parents
  9. The foster child who needs a home
  10. The person we come in contact with in our life/work who has no church or no relationships, so we bring them to church or our small group to help connect them to a community of believers.
  11. The newcomer who comes to town and has no connections or friends, and you include them in your friendship (even family) circle.
  12. It is providing meals when there is a trying or stretching circumstance in another person’s life, e.g., neighbors, people at work because of a death or illness.
  13. It is providing for or helping to secure clothes, housing, even work for a truly needy person (see sermon from Matthew 6:1-4).
  14. It might be sponsoring a refugee who is new to this country and making sure they have a place to stay, work and training to be successful in this country. We’ve done this several times as a church.
  15. It is providing food for the hungry, e.g., hunger emphasis at Hillcrest, food bank, etc.)

By the way, we didn’t meet our overall budget this last year, and it could have been a temptation not to provide a hunger emphasis. But to God’s glory the leadership of Hillcrest has been committed to this emphasis for 25 Christmases, even if we were short in other areas of our budget.

There is another group of strangers that many of us at Hillcrest Chapel are overlooking with great regularity: the newcomers we see every Sunday. As a congregation, we should be offering hospitality to those who come here looking for refreshment and a meaningful connection with a church, but maybe get only a smile and a handshake. I wonder how many of God’s fellow travelers are turned away from our midst because of the lack of hospitality?

I watch it every Sunday from the front. Even if our visitors are recognized in our service, that’s often the end of our conversation and care for them. For many, it’s the responsibility of the pastors or other leaders to show any love or concern. Is this right? Is God pleased? I don’t think so! How different would it be if each of us considered this main teaching area like the living room in our house? Remember the church is people, not this building; therefore, if you attend here, this is your living room. Why not make a corner of the stage/platform into a front room or go to a chair in the congregation and speak from there.

Let me put this in a different way: How would we treat someone who came to visit us in our home, apartment, or dorm? Would we just sit in the room and not say anything to them? Would we ignore the guests in our living room and only talk to our immediate family or those who live in our house? Obviously not! If this room was our living room, we would pick up our hospitality a notch or more and would at least engage in conversation with our guests. I would like to suggest that from now on the code name for this room (the sanctuary as some call it) is the living room.

With that challenge in mind, let’s look back at 1 Peter 4:9. Think how this teaching might have impacted the original recipients of 1 Peter 4. Can you hear how some might respond to this teaching? It’s interesting that Peter anticipated reactions to this teaching, so he not only encouraged some actions to take, but specifically pointed out

An Attitude to alter

"Offer hospitality to each other without grumbling." What does that say to us? We all have excuses for not extending hospitality to others, so when we are confronted with what the Scripture says about it, it’s easy to begin grumbling. Peter uses an interesting word for grumbling. It means "uttering in a low voice, murmuring, i.e., the expression of discontent."

What happens when we grumble? We just spent two weeks on "How to Turn our Life into a Disaster and made a number of observations about the children of Israel and the logical consequences of their grumbling and complaining. Here are a few from the book of Numbers:

  • Our complaints are often a distortion—11:4-10.
  • Our complaints wear others down.
  • If complaining is the only way to get something, we won’t want it when we get it—vv. 31-34. God lets us punish ourselves with our greed and choices—14:2,28-31.

But at this key moment in our church life, we need an outpouring of a spirit of hospitality; and certainly we need to keep in mind the admonition not to complain. As I have been sharing with you, if the Lord enables us to finish our building, many people will show up in the next 18 months. When that happens, there will be a temptation for some to complain because the familiar images of our church will change and there will be many more people to provide for. Sadly, in some cases churches build their buildings for themselves and when someone else shows up and fills up the space, they resent it.

I don’t believe that is our attitude, but we should understand that the opportunities for hospitality will be all around us. When that kind of influx of people occurs, some will withdraw and only relate to the friends they know: a silent form of complaining. I believe, however, that the vast majority of us will open our hearts, our homes, our ministry and the result will be that our church will mature, grow and increase in influence and prowess because of it.

Think about it. If during the Second World War, the Dunkirk small boat owners had decided they had enough responsibility to care for their friends and family, many soldiers would have been killed or captured. The same challenge will be here. Many are on the shoreline of our city and county waiting for rescue, and our attitude must be the attitude of the book of Acts—

46b] "They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts (meeting together in homes is also a expression of hospitality), 47] praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."

With that in mind, how will we each respond to this teaching? Here is

The application: How we can individually prepare for any collective response.

Here’s how we prepare to be more hospitable in our church gatherings or in our homes. We begin at home/apartment/dorm—when we don’t have guests. In order to be prepared for a hospitality challenge,

First, we establish a family table (or if single, a house table) because many don’t have dinner together even once a week. (A family table is when every member of the household sits down together to eat.) The principle is, we learn to be hospitable to others when no one is a guest.

Second, we establish our values, e.g., our daughter-in-law to our grandson, Evan: "Now I want to ask you, is that one of our family values?" Family values are foundational to a hospitable lifestyle. Here are some of the values we need to add to our personal list:

  • Value of persons
  • Value of friends
  • Value of conversation
  • Value of social graces
  • Value of listening
  • Value of helping the poor
  • Value of being thankful—noticing what others do for us and being appreciative
  • Value of friends
  • Value of helping the needy—food bank, child sponsorship, hunger awareness, Christmas presents for those who are needy, etc.
  • Valued of traditions and keeping a record of family rituals, menus, favorite activities, games, family fun nights, etc.
  • Value of praying for others who have needs—it expands the heart.

In other words, we practice "others" awareness in family activities and conversation and develop values that include others.

We establish a family table as our practice ground.

We discuss our values as a family—a unit. Alda Ellis, in her book, A Table of Grace (Harvest House: Eugene, OR, 2001, p. 15) says,

"The act of coming together at meal time helps families to strengthen their relationships and connections. The family dinner (table) is indeed a legacy to be passed on from one generation to the next… so many positive things begin while seated at the dinner table—respect, good communication, skills, proper table manners, the humble thanking of God for our blessings."

As we are having that preparation:

We take responsibility to be a hospitable person in the church by taking

 

The appendix contains some specific opportunities for hospitality in the context of the local church. Prayerfully consider how you might respond to the opportunities on this sheet, whether at Hillcrest Chapel or your own local church. We believe everyone can find at least one opportunity on this list to respond to.

All over this city we can find gatherings of people meeting for breakfast, lunch and dinner: dinner parties, social gatherings, people gathered in taverns and meeting around the tables for special occasions and to advance causes. I think it is helpful to know that all these gatherings have a motivation and a desire that is never completely satisfied, because ultimately the cry of every person's heart—whether they know it or not—is to ultimately have dinner with God. Built into the heart of every human is a desire to have fellowship with God around His table.

Since Jesus has experienced what it means to be a vulnerable guest, a needy stranger, one who "came to his own home" and often received no welcome (John 1:11)…

Since Jesus experienced the vulnerability of the homeless infant, a child refugee, an adult with no place to lay his head, and a despised convict…

He understands our quest for ultimate hospitality.

But someday, everyone who knows Him, who has made Him a resident in their lives, will have the ultimate meal—the marriage supper of the lamb. Because he is the lamb who has taken away our sins, He will have the right to invite all who have washed their robes in His blood to have dinner with Him. Can we even imagine how wonderful that will be?

Revelation 19:6 says: "Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.

7] Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8] Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) 9] Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'" And he added, "These are the true words of God."

Are you ready for that the ultimate hospitality event of eternity? We get ready by inviting Him to be our guest—and to rule and reign in us!

Appendix

How To Be Part of a Circle of Hospitality: 

Could you make a commitment to one of these areas for the next three months? Sunday: 8:30 a.m.; 9:45 a.m.; 11:15 a.m.; 6:30 p.m.

Join our 4th Service Team—Make coffee and/or do cleanup for 4th service; wash up coffee pots and teapots and put things away.

Guest Service Host and Hostess—Join our team to help greet new people to our church with a warm smile and a cookie. (One or two people to help per service.)

Usher and Greeting Teams—Join our team. Meet early to pray, hand out bulletins and take the offering.

Parking Attendant—Join our team to help with vehicles entering and exiting between morning services.

House Cleaning Team—Join our team to help with cleanup between services.

Teen Guest Coordinator—Join our team to help our visiting teens get acquainted with our Experience Youth Ministry.

Connection Team—Join our team to help our Sunday guests become acquainted and connected to the wonderful people of Hillcrest Chapel through greeting inside the sanctuary and making welcoming phone calls.

During the Week:

Barrington Team—Join our team and brighten the lives of those who are walking through difficult situations with a basket full of small encouragements.

Hallmark Team—Attention card makers! Join our team to create cards with words of encouragement, comfort and welcome to attenders of Hillcrest Chapel.

Plant Angels—Purchase and put together plants for families/individuals who need special care.

Household Helper—Provide help with household chores and gardening to those in need.

Baby Basket Ministry—Join our team to donate items and create baskets of baby necessities for new parents.

RACE Hospitality Team—Join our team to provide hospitality for RACE events.

Small Group Training Hospitality Team—Join our team to provide hospitality to our Small Group Leaders’ training meeting, one Tuesday evening a month.

Hostess for Board Meetings—Provide hospitality to encourage our Board and Deacons with a buffet meal for Board Meetings, one Tuesday evening a month.

Host a College Student—Invite a college student over for a home cooked dinner.

House a College Student—for two weeks during our SICM Conference.


Beyond the opportunities listed in your handout, here are further opportunities to apply this teaching based on one of the parables of Jesus who said, "I was a stranger and you invited me in..."—Matt. 25:35

What are some practical suggestions for offering hospitality to a stranger?

General suggestions and principles.

  1. The greatest obstacle to hospitality is the fear of the unknown. ("What if...")
  2. Wisdom must be exercised, but in controlled environments and with others present, a welcome can open the door for meaningful and needed ministry.
  3. Too much attention to a person of the opposite sex can be misunderstood.
  4. Cultivate a friendly attitude with people who are involved in service-oriented jobs, e.g., gas station attendant, sales person, supermarket checker.
  5. Be prepared to be a good Samaritan by taking CPR and First Aid.
  6. New neighbors should be welcomed in your neighborhood.
  7. Learn to meet those around you in church services.
    • "Have we met?"
    • "How long have you been coming?"
    • "Are you feeling at home yet?"
    • "How can I help?"
    • Don’t ask, "Is this your first time here?"
  8. Exercise principles of friendship evangelism.

Other possibilities:

  1. Volunteer at a Mission.
  2. Sign up to house or meet foreign exchange (international) students.
  3. Sponsor a refugee family.
  4. Plan on inviting one person or couple over per month.
  5. Invite a college student into your family life, e.g., for meals, to use your house for study, or to just get away.
  6. Keep a small notebook with you on Sunday and write down the names of those you meet who are new. Invite them to sit with you next week in the church services, or go with you to your small group. Be a Big Brother/Big Sister to children of single parents in our church.
  7. Take in a foster child.
  8. Adopt a child.
  9. Sponsor a child through some Christian organization overseas.
  10. Be aware of single parents in the Body. Try to invite them and their family along with you on outings.
  11. Have your older children adopt a friend—someone who is younger.
  12. Plan to have people to brunch on Sunday. Come to church looking for your guests. Choose those who are new; converts, strangers, visitors.
  13. Look for a shy or lonely person. Help them to become integrated into the Body.

What are some biblical illustrations?

  • Luke 10:38-42—Jesus at Mary’s and Martha’s house.
  • Heb. 13:2—when we entertain strangers, we may be entertaining angels.
  • 1 Pet. 4:8-10—sharing whatever we have is commanded.
  • Matt. 22:37-40—love for our neighbor, whether known or unknown, is commanded (Luke 10:29-37).
  • 1 Pet. 4:9—hospitality is to be offered to our brothers and sisters without grumbling.

What principles do you get from these verses that apply to this area?

  • The person—not the preparation—is the focus.
  • Hospitality is motivated by an attitude of acceptance, friendliness and open honesty. It’s a lifestyle that must be cultivated.
  • Giving attention to religious activities can be a substitute for openness to a stranger.
  • My neighbor is the next person whose needs I can meet.
  • Hospitality should be offered by every believer.
  • Inviting a stranger to your home and your church is ultimately ministry to Jesus.