Know and Be Known

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Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

– Hebrews 13:3, NIV

Text: John 4:1-30, Hebrews 13:1-3

Let us take a moment to reflect on John 4- the scene at the well…
“Jesus saw—really saw— the Samaritan woman as she came to draw water. He took time to talk—really talk— to her about what mattered in her life. He made her feel welcomed, cared for, known.”

“When we feel known, it changes who we are.”

Jesus modeled it for us in the Bible, and how we host, how we love, should be a direct reflection. “Isn’t that true hospitality? Putting yourself in their place, loving them for who they are, and inviting them into the safe place of friendship.” Plain and simple… Biblical hospitality is a demonstration of love. Food and other elements are merely tools used to express our love for Gods people.

God has beautifully designed each one of us to be His Ambassadors- his hands and feet to carry His love to those around us. His Great Commission (Matt.18:20) was given to every one of us, young and old, every mother, father, and child. There is a harvest field ripe within our own back yards. It is a lost and dying world out there waiting to be known.

Live A Life of Invitation

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It was not my intention to “blog” all 13 days of the She Reads Truth hospitality study. But, I am thoroughly enjoying the material and would love to share excerpts from her lessons as well as my thoughts on the matter. So, I give you day 2…Live a Life of Invitation.

Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
– Romans 15:7, ESV

 Text: Romans 15:1-7, Matthew 22:36-40

“Hospitality shows up in a lot of ways, but often we imagine a big to-do. It is entertaining at its finest, done best by those with specific giftings, reserved for special occasions.”

It’s a shame when we box up hospitality. Ultimately, hospitality is not limited to a space or time. It matters not how large your home is or how generous your table settings. We lose sight of the true spiritual significance behind it, and in doing so,  rob ourselves and others of the blessing God intends to come through it.

Lets look a little deeper…

The Greek word for hospitality is philoxenos. Phileo means “brotherly love,” and xenos means “strangers.” God’s design for hospitality is the extension of ourselves in love to strangers. So, it’s not only hosting people we know, but welcoming those we do not.

“Jesus Christ was the Ultimate Inviter. He beckoned disciples with a simple “Follow me,” received children by saying “Come to me,” invited strangers to “Walk with me,” and welcomed sinners to the table, saying, “Eat with me.” And then, in extension of glorious invitation, He gave His life on a cross for us. Because of the Cross, our life in Christ opens us up to becoming a people of audacious invitation, too.”

Think about that… the love Jesus gives to us, we are to pour back out to others. So what does that look like?

“Love for strangers is inviting a new neighbor over for a casual coffee while you fold laundry. It’s knowing the names of the people who bag your groceries. It’s offering the spare room in your house to the young girl trying to figure out what’s next in life. It’s offering encouragement to the young mom in tears with a screaming toddler in the middle of Target. Maybe it’s even inviting her to lunch after she confesses she has no one to help her.”

“We posture our hearts to welcome others as a response to the invitation we have been given through the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

As we model a life of invitation, we provide the world with a picture of a much greater spiritual truth that God invites all to his safe embrace.

I have challenged myself, and I encourage you- let us pray for hearts of love and enthusiam for catching Christ’s call to be hospitable, to live a life of invitation. Let us look for ways even today to extend ourselves in brotherly love to the strangers who cross our paths.

What is hospitality really?

 

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Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
– Romans 12:13, NIV

I am excited to begin this new “She Reads Truth” study on hospitality and to dig into Gods word and rediscover the true definition of biblical hospitality.

Todays text was Romans 12:9-13, Matthew 9:9-13, Matthew 19:13-14
I was immediately convicted by the following, ” When I look at Jesus, our culture’s false definition of hospitality as dinner invitations and etiquette, clean homes and casseroles, pales in light of the bold example of the most radically welcoming person who’s ever lived.
In Jesus we see that hospitality begins in the heart.”

As a southern girl, who is quite the fan of entertaining- dinner invitations, etiquette, a clean home and casseroles, I am eager to learn from this study and from the example of Jesus Christ. I pray that through it He changes the posture of my heart to look more like His.