Saturday, 7 September 2013

The gift of hospitality

Today we're back to looking at one of the spiritual gifts God blesses us with. This one is very close to my heart - the gift of hospitality. I can't begin to tell you how any times we have been blessed or have been able to bless others this way! And it is a gift I was shown from an early age - my mum has to be one of the best at opening her house and inviting people in! 

As a family of 6 with four boys who could eat me out of a week's food in one hour, we don't often get invited out for a meal. We do get asked, but I can usually turn it around to invite the person to our house - not because I don't want to go to visit them, but I feel that we are putting them out a lot, or that the extra people in our family make it harder for them to have us. But we do have a couple of wonderful families who insist on having for dinner. These wonderfully godly people have bigger families and know that, when my hubby is away on a ministry trip, it is lovely to get invited for tea and spoilt a little. It has been an incredible blessing to me at times when it can get hard to focus or figure out what to cook again when I don't feel like eating! We also have some wonderful couples who insist on having my husband and I for dinner - a rare treat but such a special one. We get to to out with these dear friends and enjoy being adults once again.... And the fact that it is with such godly company only makes it sweeter! 

But the real joy of this is when we get to invite people into our house. I love the feeling of having people come to see us so we can bless them and spoil them. They get to come and relax and we get to serve them and encourage them. This is one of the important parts of our ministry - partly because it is a great way to involve our children in our ministry, but also because people always talk more openly over food! We have had some amazingly open and frank conversations over dinner, Sunday lunch or supper, and we have been blessed to be able to share the Gospel with many couples over our wee dining room table. It is my favourite place in my house, and I love sharing it. There is something very special about people trusting you enough to cook for them, and relaxing in your space. 

So my challenge for you all is this - take some time this week to plan a get together with someone you can bless. This isn't about you - it doesn't have to be perfect. You just have to willing to open up your house and invite God to join you as you invite people to come in. There have been many times when I fret about having someone I don't know in my house, as happens a lot when we invite some of the players my husband works with, with their families, but when you invite God in it always makes for an amazing evening! Invite someone and use your house & welcoming attitude to bless them. It might be just what they need!!! 

"Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another."
1 Peter 4:9, 10

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