“Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.” 1Pe 4:9 NKJV
There’s a story about a family who had the pastor over for dinner, and Mom asked their five-year-old to say grace. Puzzled, the child asked, “What should I say?” Her mom replied, “Just say what you’ve heard me say.” So, bowing her head the little girl prayed, “Dear God, why on earth did I invite the pastor over to dinner?” Let’s be honest, hospitality is hard work. It involves sacrifice. And you are to “do it ungrudgingly (cordially and graciously…without complaining…as representing Him)” (AMP). Who are you representing? God! That puts a new slant on it, doesn’t it? Paul writes: “[Make a habit…of]…hospitality” (Ro 12:13 NAS). Peter writes: “[Be hospitable…with brotherly affection for…unknown guests…foreigners, the poor, and all others]” (AMP). So, have you had any unknown guests, foreigners or poor folks over to dinner lately? A man conducting a church survey wrote to a nationally syndicated advice columnist: “Of almost two hundred churches I visited, I was spoken to in only one by someone other than an ‘official greeter’ -and that was to tell me I was sitting in their seat!” It’s easy to extend hospitality to people you know, but Jesus said: “If all you do is love the lovable…Anybody can do that” (Mt 5:46 TM). So, how about those you don’t know? Those who don’t fit in your social circle? Sure, you can find excuses: you’re too busy, you don’t want to get involved, and you’re uncomfortable around strangers. God says you represent Him; that means: (a) sacrificing your personal agenda; (b) giving of your time and money; (c) going out on a limb for people you don’t know, or even like; (d) seeing others through God’s eyes. That’s practicing hospitality!
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