I’m writing this devotion from Bulan, Philippines, a beautiful place that is home to wonderful people who take hospitality to a whole new level. Hospitality is often over looked or misunderstood in our society, but is actually commanded in scripture.
Hebrews 13:2 says: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers”. The literal Greek word is “love of strangers”. The scripture assumes we will demonstrate hospitality to our friends, family and possibly neighbors but, to love strangers is a true act of hospitality and its actually quite powerful.
When you show hospitality, it makes people feel at home around you. Don’t read past that that clause to quickly: Making people feel at home around you; that is a gift. You may have know someone for years but have never felt at home around them. Yet, you may meet someone and within hours, because of the way they interact with you, you feel at home in their presence very quickly.
A good question to ask ourselves is: Do other people feel at home around us? If not, is it because we are thinking more about ourselves than we are thinking of them. Do we coddle personal desires and preferences to the extent that we are unwilling to show deference? These are challenging questions but remember, eternity might be at stake. Hospitality is an important tool for evangelism.
When you’re hospitable, your presence frees people to relax and rest. Your hospitality opens people’s hearts, which is necessary for relationship to develop and grow. Evangelism, in many cases, depends on hospitality. Those who show hospitality will be able to share the Good News of the Kingdom to open hearts, which often results in salvation. By the way, showing hospitality does not always happen in your own house. You can be hospitable anywhere.
I was personally blessed by the hospitality of many in Bulan. It was very humbling to be served so well by strangers. These wonderful people reminded me of Jesus who deferred his needs in order to meet our needs. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ: Though He was rich, for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich” (2Cor 8:9). Now that’s hospitality! Lets all grow in hospitality as we reach people for Christ.
PS; Just found a good article on Hospitality: http://texanonline.net/archives/5629/