“How in the world could I carry on a conversation with folks from India? I don’t even like to talk.”
This was the transparent admission of a lady who had recently hosted a family in her home from a totally different land, speech, and culture. As she shared her story, she quickly admitted that the evening was one of rich blessings! During their meal together and discussion around the table, she and her husband learned of God’s work in a far off land; His answers to prayer; His working in the hearts of lost souls; His provision of peace, power, and protection; His encouragements to these precious servants of the Lord even in the most difficult of times. She was more than glad she had stepped out of her comfort zone. Her invitation to “Come!” set the stage for some “unexpectedly happy results.”
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality (Romans 12:13).
Show hospitality to one another without grumbling (1 Peter 4:9).
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares (Hebrews 13:2).
In the Hebrews passage, the writer is not advocating hospitality on the off chance that one might happen to receive an angel as a guest but rather because God is pleased when believers are hospitable. Sometimes unexpectedly happy results follow acts of hospitality. It was highly esteemed in the ancient world and was certainly very important for Christians. Accommodations at inns was expensive, and in any case inns had a bad reputation. But as Christian preachers traveled around, believers gave them lodging and so facilitated their mission. Without hospitality in Christian homes, the spread of the faith would have been much more difficult. (The Expositors Bible Commentary, p.146)
You see, when you invite folks into your home, it’s not you or your house they need to see; it’s Jesus. His invitation to you and everyone is always, “Come” (Matthew 11:28-30; 14:29; 19:14; Luke 6:47). Therefore, in following Christ, you, too, say to others, “Come.” That invitation opens up another opportunity to share Christ and to live out the gospel. Remember, Christ is the initiator in the invitation to come; therefore, you follow His lead and be the initiator in inviting others.
Have you recently taken the opportunity to host someone in your home? Have you prayed about it? Are you willing to trust in the grace of God to help you experience the joy of hospitality? How about the next guest speaker or missionary who’s coming to your church? (You want to really encourage the heart of your pastor? Look at the church calendar to see when the next preacher or missionary will be at your local church. Weeks in advance, tell your pastor you are more than glad to host them for a meal and/or provide their lodging!) What about the family that’s been visiting your church for the past couple of Sundays? Thought about having your neighbor over for a cup of coffee?
Don’t be looking for an angel, but do remember “God is pleased when believers are hospitable.”
Come on in!