Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hospitality: The Who - Pt. 1

So...who should show hospitality? 

We all know people who seem to have the "gift" of hospitality.   They are relaxed when they are serving others, whether it be offering them a bed, a meal, or just a conversation and a cup of coffee.  We are all gifted differently, and what comes easily to one will likely be more difficult for others.  In the area of hospitality, our gifting (or lack of it) doesn't make us more or less responsible.  It only makes the task more or less challenging.  Some people naturally have an easier time in personal evangelism, Bible study, or giving than others, but it doesn't change the responsibility of each believer to strengthen our weaker muscles to fulfill this area which is obviously very important to God.  The amount of Scriptures that reference hospitality is almost mind boggling!  So many of the themes that we practice in our lives may be mentioned once, twice, or three times in the Bible, but wow...hospitality really has a monopoly.  :-)
  • Elders - Paul, in Titus 1, gives Titus instructions regarding those who are to be place in the position of elder: " ...if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife,[c] and his children are believers[d] and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. 7 For an overseer,[e] as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound[f] doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. (Titus 1)
  • Overseer (bishop) - The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer[a] must be above reproach, the husband of one wife,[b] sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.  (I Timothy 3)
  • True Christian - 9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,[g] serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.  (Romans 12)
These are only a handful of verses that reference hospitality, but they are definitely enough to guide all of us that seek to be like Jesus!  Hospitality is an important theme because it meets the needs of the whole person, while simultaneously molding the giver into the image of Christ. 

***Summertime on the here. 

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