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PostSubject: Hospitality   Tue Sep 16, 2008 2:48 pm

Hospitality is defined as Dictionary.com as a friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers. It is the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests in a warm, friendly, and generous way.

One thing that the church (meaning the body of Christ) is beginning to lack in is hospitality. I have heard many times from people who are church searching that they are looking for that one place where they feel welcomed and wanted, but they just haven't come upon it.

The most vital part of choosing a church, in my own opinion, is not whether or not they share the same beliefs (except for the Christian fundamentals of course), but if they are able to show love. If a lost person isn't showed love, they will not come to God.

We are commanded to show hospitality.

Romans 12:13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
1 Peter 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

One core thing about hospitality is that we don't show it just because we are commanded to, but with genuine love. That "without grudging" part tells us that we need to show it and mean it.

There isn't a limit on who we are to show hospitality to. The Bible requires us to love our neighbor. That neighbor is anyone who has a need. He isn't just a member of the church, or your closest friend. Your neighbor can be that stranger on the street.

Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

The Bible tells us to love and pray for our enemies. If they have a need, fill it. If we aren't showing them love, then they will probably be forever our enemies.

2 Kings 6:22-23 And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master. And he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel.

I believe one of the hardest areas to show hospitality to is the poor people. Some live on the street, and cannot afford a shower. Some are unable to see doctors, leaving them sickly. Living in our prim and proper society, we are too disgusted to move over for them to have a place to sit, or grossed to shake their hands because we have just washed ours. Do the poor not deserve love just like anyone else?

Isaiah 58:7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

Luke 14:13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:

Without hospitality, unity is close to walking out the door. Many people of the church have trouble showing it to fellow members, much less newcomers to the church. The body of Christ cannot grow without hospitality because hospitality is our only way of showing the love of Jesus.

Next time a new person walks through the doors of the church, leave your comfort zone. Walk up to them with atleast an extended hand to let them know they are welcome. A simple smile can do wonders.

For the members of the church that are absent, a small call on the phone asking if everything is okay can be a wonderful blessing. Even a little message/E-mail can let someone know that they are actually cared about.

That place called a confort zone is a dangerous place to be for a Christian, because it means no growth. It means a standstill on the course we are meant to be racing. But that's a different message.

Remember. Hospitality is what the body of Christ needs. People yearn to be wanted and loved. If we want the body to grow, if we want more to be welcomed into the kingdom of heaven, we have to show the lost love, and the saved have to be loved in order to carry on. That's what the church was built for. I can praise at home. I can be fed by my Bible at home. There's just something about having the support of other Christians that makes church special.
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PostSubject: Re: Hospitality   Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:08 pm

One comment we always get at our church is " You can feel the love". We are a small church with a very big heart. We used to have a "meet and greet" during the first song. We quit doing that because we were all "huggers" and some people just don't like to be hugged. We still welcome each and every new person with open hearts.
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PostSubject: Re: Hospitality   Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:34 pm

It is always nice to be welcomed in... it makes you feel like your not only wanted but needed. It can trul make or break wether a person or family decides to stay at the church.
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