Hospitality – a Gift to Give Fellow Believers

Have you ever considered your hospitality a gift to give fellow believers? The Bible does!

Hospitality - a gift to give fellow believers

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.

Set Money Aside Weekly in Church

You are wise to set money aside weekly in church.

set money aside weekly in church

Today’s Bible passage is still from 1 Corinthians, as was last week’s, but now we are in the last chapter. Paul is winding up his letter with final comments and greetings. In the first five verses, Paul is giving them a specific plan to set aside money weekly in church toward the needs of the saints in Jerusalem.

Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me.” (1 Corinthians 16:1-5)

Paul has suggested this plan already in chapters 8 and 9, as we saw last time, so they could become generous givers in the name of our Lord. But now he gives them practical steps so that there will be no fuss or begging to collect money at that time. Simply the delivery details to be worked out.

To set money aside weekly in church is really is an excellent plan. It teaches believers to become regular givers.

We all tend to forget if we don’t make it a habit.

We also need to consult with our own spirit, and a spouse, if married, to determine how much we can give cheerfully. God loves a cheerful, willing giver. The amount is up to you. Whatever portion you might give grudging… is not a gift in God’s eyes.

Your Surprise Reward

Wait! Let me give you clue to a great surprise. When you start giving regularly you will experience something wonderful. An emotion that is very pleasurable – just a small token from the Lord of the larger rewards He will present to you in Heaven!

Even if someone else does your bookkeeping for you, set aside a certain time each week – before Sunday – to check and see how much new income you gained through the week. Decide whether you are going to give a certain amount, or perhaps a percentage of your income, and prepare that in a small envelop to take to church on Sunday and put in the offering. (Some churches provide offering envelopes for you).

If your paycheck only comes every two weeks, then you’ll want to set aside time bi-weekly to assess how much you can set aside as a church offering – but in your heart, giving it to the Lord.

If your salary is deposited into your account just once a month, and it is always the same, you may have the easiest time of all once you’ve decided how much to give to the Lord each month.

All right, if you live from hand to mouth…you may end up giving more sporadically. In fact, you may need some of those gifts that others are setting aside to give to the Lord. And you have a better chance of being given some of those gifts if you become a part of a living, and godly Christian church.

When the church elders or administrative officers see how much comes in regularly they are able to budget for basic needs for operating the church, and also for missions and benevolent giving.

MY Personal Experience

When I first became a working girl after high school I was only interested in giving to missions. I felt that others could support the church, but my money should go to spreading the gospel. Later on I learned that supporting the church is also God’s will. Instead of dividing my offering, I doubled it, so that I could do both. God has blessed that and just given me a desire to give much more… whenever He blesses me with more than my basic living budget. That is happening more often now!

Planned and Cheerful Giving as Believers and Congregations

Chapters 8 and 9 of 2 Corinthians are two of my most favourite chapters in the whole Bible. They are all about giving generously, gladly. They are about thinking of our planned and cheerful giving as ‘sowing spiritual seed’ which will bear much spiritual harvest.

that there might be equality

Paul held up the Macedonian church as an example, for though they were very poor, they had a great desire to help the needy Christians in Jerusalem, and had given themselves and then, also sacrificially from their meager resources.

He encouraged the Corinthian believers to follow their example and start setting aside and bringing in what they could on the first of the week. Week by week that could grow so that when Titus arrived, whom Paul sent to the Corinthians, they would have a generous combined gift to send along with him to the needy believers in Jerusalem.

Setting Aside Weekly

Not all Christians understand the value of this idea of setting aside small, manageable amounts week by week. When they are added up, they turn out to be a sizable gift.

When I was caring for my parents I had no regular income. I lived by faith in God. I remember a week when I only earned $5.00 from an elderly lady in our town who called to ask me to help wash her hair and put rollers in her hair. Going home I thought, a tithe of $5.00 is only .50; what a pathetic amount to give the Lord in church the next morning.

However, I put that .50 in an empty baking soda can which was wrapped in shiny paper. After a few weeks of adding to it, I saw that now I had a gift that was able to accomplish more.

To this day I like to do my bookkeeping on Friday nights, so that I know what came in and what I paid out, recording the amounts in my record keeping system, and setting aside my tithes and offerings. Accounting is not my forte, but I can manage it on this scale. This way I can be a giver out of small meager incomes, and grow with it so that I can be entrusted by God with larger amounts in my stewardship.

My hope is that when the Lord entrusts me with much larger incomes and giving amounts, He will also provide a trustworthy bookkeeper!

So what about your giving as a believer and as a church congregation? Do have a plan for how much to set aside regularly?

Even before that, do you have a willingness to give and share with others in need? Those in need of physical food, and also those who need spiritual food – the gospel – which leads to eternal life?

God has given us so much, and according to 2 Corinthians 8:10, we can count on Him to supply even the resources we need to sow for a larger spiritual harvest, “Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”

I heartily recommend that you study 2 Corinthians, chapters 8 and 9. If you have any desire to be generous to others, these chapters will encourage you and teach you some valuable principles.

How this helps Missionaries Raise Funds

This series of articles was intended to help those who are struggling to raise funds. It may seem that I’ve just been addressing individuals and congregations about giving on a regular basis. But an obvious corollary of this for those in missions and ministries that seek faithful supporters, is that you need to be connected to one or more strong Christian churches, where the members understand these principles of giving and building up support funds.

However, “out of sight, out of mind,” right? So keep in touch with them even while you are away at your place of ministry. Send letters and emails and photos so that they get a sense of what God is doing through you, where you work, and they will want to become a part of that. When you return to visit them, the believers in those churches will welcome you as a dear friend, whom they know and love and trust, and your support funds will come in generously as planned and cheerful giving!