In his first letter at the end of his life, the Apostle Peter left instructions to Christians on how to serve for Godâ€™s glory. One area that Peter instructs us was on hospitality. In fact, the Bible puts great value on Christians being hospitable to each other. Why? It is because Jesus said that the world would know Him by Christiansâ€™ love for one another. Peter reminds us of that admonition:
â€œAnd above all things have fervent love for one another, for â€˜love will cover a multitude of sins.â€™Â Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.â€ (1 Peter 4:8-9)
My pastor encourages us to fellowship with one another in our homes to get to know each other better. This is why we no longer have Sunday evening services at our church except on fifth Sundays and in the month of June, which we call our â€œFamily of Familiesâ€ month. Even so, this month one Sunday is being dedicated to have friends over to our homes.
My pastor lamented about how so many homes are becoming just a place we stop to get a shower, some sleep, and then off to our busy days. Our schedules are so filled with events that we no longer practice the gift of hospitality. He said, â€œOur houses are becoming hotels.â€
That got me to reminiscing about my childhood and how much I visited or had visitors at my home. Houses were where we hung out, even as teenagers. The neighborhood pick-up games of football or baseball were epic and the after game ritual of having a snack and Kool-Aid were great times of fellowship.
For some of us, we think our homes are not elegant enough to have guests over to visit. My advice to you is if your â€œfriendsâ€ judge you by your home, you probably need new friends. If you have a home filled with the love of Christ, it will be welcoming and comfortable to anyone who steps through your door.
Some may have people over just to showcase their homes. If that is the case, the ostentatiousness will overcome any sense of fellowship or welcoming. It will be abundantly clear what is primary in such a heart.
Our homes are a gift from God. We need to be good stewards of all Godâ€™s gifts and our homes should be central in our appreciation of Godâ€™s blessings. If youâ€™re having a hard time considering your home a gift from God, imagine the alternative. Again, Peter reminds us:
â€œAs each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of Godâ€ (1 Peter 4:10)
Not only should we entertain guests, but our family should look at their house as a home and a place of sanctuary. Even with my adult daughters, I want them to know that our home is a place that they can come to and find love and rest.
â€œGoing homeâ€ as adults, whether it is visiting parents or going back to our hometowns, should bring a level of excitement and expectation. That is possible because of the memories you made when you were there in the past.
Is your home a place where wonderful memories are made? Or is it a place with the only thing missing is a neon sign out front flashing â€œNo Vacancy?â€ Do your children prefer to visit friendsâ€™ homes and shudder at the thought of inviting them to their houses?
No matter the physical condition of our houses, if we pour out our hearts love will flood every room, cover every piece of furniture, and have a welcome mat of open arms.
Instead of our houses being hotels for the wayward lives living there, they will become homes for weary souls to rest, recover, and recreate in the embrace of fellowship.
Letâ€™s purpose in our hearts to make our houses homes and not hotels.
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Copyright Â© 2016 David Jeffers