Creating community in our homes is the essence of living the Gospel in word and deed. These bible verses on hospitality will help you understand why hospitality is important to God and how he wants us to make our homes a hub for biblical hospitality.
Why show biblical hospitality?
A Christian's home should be a place where friends, fellow believers, neighbors, strangers, and the lost can go and know they will be unconditionally loved. A place where they can comfortably sit around your table, let their guard down, be vulnerable, scared, lost, or hopeless. A home where they can feel and see your faith in action, loving them for who they are and allowing them to know you don't have all the answers, but you do know someone who does.
Opening our homes takes sacrifice. You give your time, money, and energy, and sometimes the rewards are never seen. But out of sheer obedience to the Spirits prompting to open your home and be about His business, you will be blessed. I have created a list of bible verses that show us God's desire for why and how we should show biblical hospitality. Rember, it's not about doing good works but loving others through acts of service.
What biblical hospitality is not
As you read through these notes the definition of hospitality. There is nothing mentioned about a fancy feast with fine linens, china, and silver. Biblically, great hospitality is about building relationships around your table. Your food should be easy to prepare delicious meals that do not overshadow your primary goal: building relationships with those around your table. It's OK to serve a meal on mismatched dishes or even paper tableware. Your focus is for guests to feel like they are part of the family, relaxed and comfortable.
God's purpose for hospitality in our homes
We must remember the purpose of God commanding Christians to open their homes and share biblical hospitality with others. God wants Christians to be set apart from other people by the way they live and also wants their lifestyle to reflect His relationship with humanity. The practice of hospitality, then, becomes a symbol of God's love for and grace towards sinners whom He desires to bring back into a relationship with Himself. We are gifted with the ability to be a part of His plan, to encourage the brothers, and point the lost to the purpose of our existence To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
What is the orinal meaning of hospitality?
The Greek word beliveXenia (Greek: ξενία) is an ancient Greek concept of hospitality. It is sometimes translated as 'guest-friendship' or 'ritualized friendship'.For early Christians, it was an institutionalized relationship rooted in generosity, gift exchange, and reciprocity.
Jesus evangelized and decipled during meals
Look for a moment, many New Testament writers share with us what Jesus did while sitting around a table eating a meal. Look closely, who was he with? He spends time with people that need evangelism and discipleship. This is how we should model our own tables when providing hospitality.
- eats with tax collectors and sinners at the home of Levi.
- is at a meal when He is anointed by the weeping woman.
- feeds the five thousand in the wilderness.
- eats at the home of Martha and Mary.
- is at a meal when He condemns the Pharisees and teachers of the law.
- is at a meal when He urges people to invite the poor to their meals.
- invites Himself to dinner with Zacchaeus.
- eats the Last Supper.
- has a meal with two disciples in Emmaus after the Resurrection.
- appears to the disciples in Jerusalem and eats fish with them.
Verses on hospitality
God spoke clearly to us through his Word how important a view of biblical hospitality should be.
God appointed a duty
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Romans 12:13
God has woven the command to be hospitable throughout the Old and New Testaments. We are commanded to seek it. It is of utmost importance to God that we find opportunities to show hospitality in a generous way.
And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:39
Hospitality is one of the foundational characteristics of the Christian lifestyle. It is not simply a good deed Christians should do, but rather an act of obedience to God's commandment to love our neighbors.
A command for the type of person we should be
Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. Practice hospitality ungrudgingly to one another. 1 Peter 4:8-9
Ungrudgingly! That means we should consider it a privilege to serve God by showing hospitality to people. The extra work, expense, and emotional energy should all be thought of as serving the Lord by extending hospitality. The good things you do for others are pleasing to the Lord.
But hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. Titus 1:8
God appointed hospitality to be constant
Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:1-2
It was important that the writer of Hebrews told us if we practice hospitality we could unknowingly feed a meal to angels, fascinating. Also, the Holy Bible emphasizes that hospitality is one of God’s commands that is ongoing, it does not have an end.
What are we doing when we practice hospitality?
Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are. 3 John 1:5
We are demonstrating faithfulness to the Lord when we open our homes for hospitality.
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16
The are many benefits to showing hospitality. We help others, we become friends with strangers, and we encourage those in our homes. However, the greatest reason to show hospitality is that we are pleasing the Lord.
"We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth". 3 John 8
When we practice biblical hospitality we are working with God to reveal truth. We are modeling Christ to others and pointing them to the gospel of truth.
When should we show hospitality?
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:10
We are told in scripture to practice hospitality whenever we have the opportunity, not just when it is convenient. He also urges us to especially show hospitality to God’s people. This includes people of God in your local church, missionaries, or any believer that you come in contact with.
How should we show it?
Rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man. Ephesians 6:7
We should always have the spirit of goodwill for those we have in our home, even when it's hard. We must remember we are doing this for the Lord, not man.
Hospitality started in the Old Testament
"When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God." Lev. 19:33-34
“ Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?” Isaiah 58:7
"She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy." Proverbs 31:20
Hospitality in the New Testament
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Galations 5:13
"and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds." 1 Timothy 5:10
"But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Luke 14:13-14
One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. 15 And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us. Acts 16:14
The native people showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all because it had begun to rain and was cold. Acts 28:2
Hospitality is about looking for the needs of others. Sometimes examples of hospitality could be providing a guest room for a few days. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as to how you can help someone. It might be a simple meal, a warm safe room, or just a listening ear over coffee.
Good reasons to practice hospitality
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:2
Our Heavenly Father wants us to have a real love for strangers, not just look at it as the duty of hospitality. You may be amazed when God turns a stranger into a dear friend.
“For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.” Mark 9:41
"Jesus says, "And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.” Matthew 10:42
When to show biblical hospitality
"The sojourner has not lodged in the street; I have opened my doors to the wayfarer." Job 31:32
When Job was protesting against his sickness, one of the virtues that he said he never neglected was hospitality. This is a reminder, showing hospitality is not reserved for the time you have your life altogether and your house perfectly clean and decorated. Hospitality is shown no matter what stage in life you are in.
The ultimage act of hospitality
The ultimate act of hospitality was when Christ Jesus died for sinners to make everyone who believes a member of the household of God. We are no longer strangers and sojourners. We have come home to God. Everybody who trusts in Jesus Christ finds a home in God with eternal life.
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