Gift of Hospitality and Service
Have you ever accepted an invitation to another’s house, feeling the request was genuine? Walking through the threshold, the house is warm, inviting and you find yourself struggling to leave when the night begins to flourish. My heart overwhelms with the feeling of being comfortable, accepted, loved, open, and honest when in the home of a Christian woman given the gift of hospitality.
Martha had the gift of hospitality for the Bible declares she opened her home to Christ, His disciples, and followers. She waited on her guests, supplied each with the necessities needed, and cleaned afterwards. Jesus Christ was a frequent guest, meaning, God chose this house for teaching, fellowship and prayer with His Son.
The Lord endowed Martha with the gift of hospitality, warmth, and comfort.
I have a friend who is gifted in hospitality. This sweet Christian opens her house to parties, fellowship, and prayer breakfasts. She has these elegant and decorative tablescapes fit for the cover of magazines featuring flowers, candles, matching flatware, calligraphy place cards, and the aroma of baked food filling the house. She is a gracious host, filled with attentive listening, inviting conversation, ensuring each person feel at ease and comfortable. Her heart opens with prayer, blesses each one present, and the invitation for fellowship and food is truly an enjoyable experience.
I also enjoy having guests in my home. My heart longs to encourage fellow believers, fellowship, and listen to inspiring testimonies while feeding the spirit. I pray for the discernment of how much to say, what to pray, when the spirit needs to move, and I remain silent. I pray my own home is a House of Prayer, God’s sanctuary for praise and worship and entertaining those we would love to bless. Remember, we as Christians should open our homes to believers, but also to those who need Jesus Christ as their Savior. I pray over our children and to teach them how to open their own hearts to those in need, to spend the extra time preparing, cleaning, baking, cooking, and making each person feel special.
On the flip side, I have also been in homes where I could have run out the door. I did not feel comfortable with that warmth or genuine love for one another; or as Martha, the host began to focus on serving, cooking or cleaning instead of what was important. Do not worry about the small things or what the house may seem, pay attention to those who are in your home for a reason (Luke 10:38-42). We have taught our children to look for the ones who seem alone, standing uncomfortable by themselves or ask if one would like to join in the conversation. I know we can only be in one place at a time, but I pray to God for the observant eyes watching those who need attention, the ears to listen attentively for prayer or blessing and hands to help those who need clean up, for I never want to leave a house unattended.
Romans 12:13 encourages, “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
There are some who do not want to be bothered by others, do not want them in their homes, and they pass off the blessing to another person. Whether you do not want to spend the time cleaning, hosting, cooking or using your money for others, the Apostle Paul asks us to practice making others feel welcome into the Christian faith. It can be the smallest gesture, one of love and open arms, which can change a person’s heart. Make a dinner for a single guy or gal while praying and encouraging them to stay strong in their flesh, preparing their hearts for the one God has for them. Invite a widow over to feel the love and warmth of others as she may be grieving a lost loved one.
Open your home to Bible study for new believers, encouraging the ones who are taking the first steps in their faith. Invite your pastor and his family for we are to withhold no good thing from those who instruct us (Galatians 6:6). After assisting his flock all week, maybe he and his family need a nice meal away from home, to be blessed by those he instructs. Be a doer of the word and not just someone who gleans from the pastor, but does not reciprocate (James 1:22). Christ had compassion on everyone who would allow him into their hearts including the little ones who ran to him, the ones who followed him and the sick who needed his healing touch. Mark 8:2-3 reads, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and I have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance.” In Mark 9:36-37, Jesus Christ, taking a child into his arms said, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me, but the one who sent me.”
I love Christ welcomes the children for James instructs us not to pay favoritisms to anyone, but welcome all with open arms (James 2:1-26).
I pray your home is open for all, not just the “selective” few who maybe well known, have the connections you desire in the church or want to be friends with. God is no respecter of persons, and neither should you be (Romans 2:11). Christians should lead by example, not becoming weary in well doing, but making the most of every opportunity to give to those less fortunate (Galatians 6:9). This includes our chosen topics of discussion.
When we open are homes and hearts to the Lord for fellowship and enjoying each other’s company, we should be ever watchful for gossiping, and slanderous mouths (1 Timothy 3:7).
I am always aware of what is mentioned in confidence, prayer requests for the heavy burdened, and what others do not wish to divulge. If we can imagine ourselves in the very person we are discussing, would you want to be the topic of gossiping? Would you want to be the topic of those whispering for “prayer requests”? Women, at times, can be very catty. You lead by example and if present persons refuse to respond to a quiet rebuke, take them aside again and gently tell them, this is neither the time nor the place.
I am thankful for the invitations we receive from those who enjoy entertaining and hosting. I love the displays of food, observing the time it took for making the house warm and inviting. I am thankful for those who have the gift of hospitality, these Christian women can influence the next generation of youth, instilling in them a Christ like behavior that is lost on many. I pray my own children enjoy opening their homes and hearts to those in need.
Pray the Prayer for Hospitality on our Prayer for Every Circumstance Page. You can find the full teaching under our Resource Page, One a Day; 30 Days of Prayer with the Women of the Bible, Book 1