Receiving Others

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him as a guest.” Luke 10.38

Do you receive people into your home? If you do, what is your attitude toward the situation? Do you get anxious about what to feed them? Do you feel that everything has to be just right? I have been on both sides of the situation.

In the past, when receiving someone, I would do a super cleaning, wearing myself out physically. Mentally, I would worry about what to serve and what to do while the guest was in our home. Many times, I was exhausted before they even arrived, being unable to enjoy to the fullest the time they were there. I could definitely relate to Martha in the context of Luke 10.

With time, I have come to realize that the important thing is to make someone feel comfortable while in my home. That does not mean that I have to serve them a huge, special meal. It does mean that I need to give them the attention that they need. That need might be physical, emotional, or spiritual.

I am blessed by inviting others into our home. I have learned to simplify many things so that I do not allow stress to steal my enjoyment of the moment. That makes it more positive for everyone!

#risingjoy #devotional #Luke #hospitality

Urged to come

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

“A woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, a God-fearing woman, listened to us. The Lord opened her heart to respond to what Paul was saying. After she and her household were baptized, she urged us, “If you consider me to be a believer in the Lord, come and stay in my house.” And she persuaded us.” Acts 16.14-15

Paul and his companions had arrived in the city of Philippi. On the Sabbath, they had gone to a location outside the city gate to the side of the river, where they thought they would find a place of prayer.

Upon arriving, they began to speak with a group of women who were assembled there. Lydia listened to them and the Lord opened her heart to Paul’s message. She responded, being baptized, along with her household.

Lydia opened her home to Paul and his companions. They were already accommodated in another location, but she was persistent in urging that they come to her home.

Christians live in communion with one another. It is an important aspect of the life of the church. The love and service that we share is one of the attitudes that make us different from the world.

#risingjoy #Acts #devotional #hospitality

Travelers

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

But no stranger had to spend the night outside, for I opened my doors to the traveler – Job 31.32

God had allowed Satan to test Job’s integrity. Job did not understand what was happening to him, but he remained firm in his faith. He gave a defense of his actions in this chapter as he justified how he had behaved up to that time.

Inns were not as commonly used during this time. It was a practice for people to accept travelers into their home, providing food and shelter for them. Job affirms that he had been one to invite others into his home.

Many years ago, my family of three, at the time, was traveling to visit family. We were in a borrowed car. The car had given us problems since the beginning of the trip. We arrived at a town in Arkansas off the normal routes since we preferred not to take the interstate. Once again, the car began to present problems. Stopping at the building of the local congregation of the Lord’s church, we went in to seek information and help in finding someone who could look at the car.

Not only did we receive help with information regarding a mechanic, we also were offered a place to stay while the car was being fixed. We actually ended up spending the night since the car would not be fixed until the next day!

I am thankful for the family that opened their home to a young couple with a three month old baby. I recognize that we must be cautious about inviting strangers into our home. However, let us also remember that some have entertained angels without knowing it, Hebrews 13.2.

#risingjoy #Job #hospitality

Hospitality Brought Peace

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

He replied, “Do not strike them down! You did not capture them with your sword or bow, so what gives you the right to strike them down? Give them some food and water, so they can eat and drink and then go back to their master.” So he threw a big banquet for them and they ate and drank. Then he sent them back to their master. After that no Syrian raiding parties again invaded the land of Israel. 2 Kings 6.22-23

The king of Syria was at war with Israel. After several attempts to invade Israel had been thwarted, the Syrian king summoned his advisers and accused that someone was helping Israel. One of his advisers told the king that the prophet Elisha was the one telling the king of Israel about the attempted invasions. He sent men to capture Elisha.

The Syrians discovered that Elisha was in Dothan. The Syrian army surrounded the city during the night. Upon awakening, Elisha’s attendant saw the army. Elisha prayed that the Lord strike them with blindness. He then led them to the city of Samaria, where once again he prayed. However, this time the prayer was for their eyes to be opened. They found themselves in the middle of Samaria.

The king of Israel through a big banquet for them and they ate and drank. He extended kindness and hospitality. Afterwards, they returned to Syria to their master. The result was that the Syrian raiding parties under this king no longer invaded the land. This act of kindness brought about peace for a time.

When you extend kindness and hospitality to someone, you have no idea how the Lord will use that to his glory.

#risingjoy #2-Kings #hospitality

Find out who is worthy: Matthew 10.11

“Whenever you enter a town or village, find out who is worthy there and stay with them until you leave.”

Matthew 10.11

Jesus gave what we call the Limited Commission. It announced the arrival of the Messiah and prepared the disciples for the Great Commission. Hospitality was common among the Jews. It was to become a missionary function in the church. The disciples were to judge who was worthy.

Associating with unworthy people gives the gospel a bad name. Christians must be concerned to preserve the name of Christ as worthy of honor.

#votd #Limited-Commission #hospitality

Invited to stay: Acts 28.14

“There we found some brothers and were invited to stay with them seven days. And in this way we came to Rome.”

Acts 28.14

In Roman custody, on his way to appear before the emperor in his defense, Paul and his companions were shown hospitality by brethren in Puteoli.

Hospitality was above all a missionary activity in the first century. Homes of saints were a major factor in church growth. Let them become so again!

#votd #hospitality #Acts #church-growth

Does God find our success literature amusing?

What an amazing and fearful thought: God never fails! Be it the salvation of the sinner or the judgment of the wicked, his purpose always comes to pass. Man attempts, never knowing if his efforts will succeed or not, Ecc 11.6. God works, always sure of the outcome. He must find our success literature amusing. Continue reading

#corollaries, #hospitality, #success

We were on Interstate 10 last Thursday afternoon…

We were on Interstate 10 last Thursday afternoon in Alabama heading toward Pensacola and home. Traffic was backed up 15 miles due to the ice storm in the area. We learned part of the interstate was not open for us to get home. We decided to call a friend in the area and ask if they had a bed we could sleep on. We made the call, and after a little greeting I revealed our plight. I asked, “Do you have a bed we could sleep on tonight?” My friend’s first reaction was, “Oh my,” and then she started offering an excuse. Continue reading

#bible, #hospitality, #practical-lessons, #sharing

Progressive??? A “visitation” program that works!

For years we conducted visitation & local evangelism traditionally – handing out cards of folks to visit. The results were hardly visible unless it was the discomfort of some families who received the visits. It certainly wasn’t producing the results desired. About three years ago we decided to make a change. Someone came up with the idea for what we call “Meals Ministry” (entirely scriptural; put it under the heading of hospitality). Those who before were handed cards were grouped with two other couples. The three couples meet in one of their homes at their chosen time and host a meal with invited guests who may have visited our services, or are simply friends (prospects) or “fringe members”. The only “church talk” is to be sure they know it represents our congregation & positive comments about the church. In other words it is not used as a teaching tool but as an introduction. The results have blown us away! Not only has it created a greater sense of fellowship within the church, it has also resulted in numerous families being added. We have discovered that they want to be a part of our fellowship because of the warmth and fellowship and accept our teachings as part of the package. “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples.”

#fellowship, #hospitality, #visitation