Have you ever considered your hospitality a gift to give fellow believers? The Bible does!
The Apostle John wrote a short letter (3 John) to his friend Gaius, who had a family or house church, probably with some Christian friends taking part too. Some Christian brothers who had passed by that way had enjoyed good hospitality in Gaius’ home with their church fellowship. John commended them for this fine service to the travelling servants of God. especially since the unbelievers had not shown them any kindness at all.
If you never travel, you may not grasp the great blessing of meeting strangers who – as soon as they discover that you are also a believer in Christ, treat you like a beloved family member, and take you home.
There you are both a welcome family member and a royal guest. Amenities and food are offered to you, and a place to sleep. But better than that, they want to know what is going on in your life, how you met Christ, and what you are doing to serve Him. If they discover that you lack something, they are quick to offer you something of their own provisions so that you will not be hindered in your work for the Lord.
Such hospitable people will also praise you, rave about your experiences and spiritual gifts. Generally, they just lather love on you, and make you feel special and fulfilled. Again, if you ever travel among strangers, and have experienced such a welcome, you will know how refreshing it is. Strangers do not usually do this.
Sometimes we are happy to enjoy good hospitality from others, but it doesn’t occur to us that we could offer the same gift to others. Take time now to give it some thought.
Is your home and family a warm and welcoming place for each of you who lives there? Even if it s small and imperfect and lacks amenities that you wish you had, it is better than nothing, or an expensive room in an inn or motel to a traveler. What would make the difference is your attitude toward the guest. They are most thirsty for warm human fellowship.
As for food, just share from your meager fare. You don’t have to go into debt to buy foods you would not normally afford for yourself or your family. If all you have is bread and water, Break off some to share, and let love and delight in the Lord be your main course. And I have only one bed. (I can offer a guest mine, but then I have to sleep on a mat on the floor, and I have trouble getting up off the floor).
I’ve often felt like, what could I offer? I live alone in a tiny house, one that still needs a lot of repairs or renovation, but which I can only afford in gradual increments. I eat frugally, but do have the basic staples.
But then I looked around at my circle of friends and contacts, and I realized that there were several single woman who were shy and retiring and who did not easily get invited out for a Sunday lunch as our more prosperous friends did. Maybe they would not mind my hospitality if I invited them over, and just shared one of my homemade meals. This has happened a few times now, and at least two of such friends have latched onto me, and look to me to be their mentor-friend.
Sometimes, for the sake of convenience, I’ve invited myself over to their place after church, but have brought along food for lunch, because I knew it was a strain for especially the handicapped friend, to provide a meal for two of us. That has gone over quite well too. This proves that even I can offer hospitality – on a smaller scale.
I realized over this last Christmas season, that if I invited all the singles I know that don’t get invited into other homes, I would have at least half a dozen people in my house. The problem is, I would not have enough chairs for all to sit down. The solution then seems to be, to just invite them over one or two at a time. Now, I just need to rearrange my busy work schedule so that I can have all those mini-parties with my intended guests. I may yet develop a strong ministry of hospitality after all.
Incidentally, if you can afford to help fellow believers in ministry who may be travelling in other parts of the world, you can always send them a quick gift of money through World Remit LTD. It has the option of sending money directly to their cell phone, and they can pick up the cash at an agency in nearly any marketplace. WorldRemit is quicker and cheaper than Western Union or MoneyGram.