Monday, September 15, 2014

Hospitality And The Home Field Advantage

"Use hospitality one to another without grudging." - 1 Peter 4:9 KJV

Hospitality is a beautiful thing isn't it. Making someone feel special. It is beyond friendliness. Hospitality is when we share resources freely in a pre-planned way and there is a lack of familiarity.

Philoxenia (Strong's G5381) is the word translated as hospitality and it is a combination of two words. Brotherly love and stranger. It is a love for strangers.

"Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality." - Romans 12:13 KJV

This word translated 'given' is Dioko (G1377) and it means chase or harass. Not the word you would expect but you press through the barriers to give love.

Hospitality typically has the home field advantage. In other words someone is in someone's home, or Church or place of business and the hospitable person is the host.

I would say some common things people do when they are going to have guests is clean the place up a bit, put things in order and take stock of what is in the cupboard  so that there will be some thing there for the guest to eat and if they are staying the night a place for them to sleep.

Hospitality can get increasingly relaxed with increased contact. If someone is often at your home they are no longer a stranger the person is treated more and more like family or someone who is not a guest but a regular person.

Grace never gets familiar with people. Family members are honored guests and guests are instant family members. God brings out His best silver every time.

"Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor." - Romans 12:9-10 ESV

"May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God." - Romans 15:5-7 ESV

Why would we love strangers and treat each other in the best possible way? Worldly hospitality is there for a reason... to sell you something. But, God has welcomed us into His eternal kingdom. We are creatures with a beginning and end that have life with no beginning and end. We are family members that marry into the family. We are born into the family. Angels are not welcomed in. They are fixtures created before creation. We are made special forever as honored guests and family members.

I want every person to feel like a king or a queen when they enter into my space and my space is wherever I am. That is God's gracious mind. Grace dignifies us. Grace elevates everyone in the room while devaluing no one in the room. Every person is an honored guest.

God, Help us. If we are tired or self occupied this all be comes to much trouble but if we fellowship in the light as you are in the light this is how we will be because you will make our value system line up with yours. People are precious. Give us energy and presence of mind to chase them down and make them know You feel that way about them.


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