Why & How
Stats on Lonely America
– More people than ever live alone – 27.2 millioneople.
– More people say they feel alone than ever in our history.
– More people than ever say they have no one as a confidant.
– More people than ever are considered depressed due to loneliness.
– The number of “socially isolated” Americans has doubled since 1985.
Hospitality According to the Scriptures
Hebrews 13:2 – Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
1 Peter 4:9 – Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
Romans 12:13 – Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Romans 15:7 – Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
Leviticus 19:34 – You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
Titus 1:8 – Be hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.
Too often we view our homes as places of refuge, rather than a tool for gospel advancement.
“Christians can be generous with their time and money but stingy with their homes.
We must repent from worshipping the comfort of our homes. Christ must gain his rightful place as the only refuge in our lives. Life will change for you when your home becomes a hub of hospitality rather than a hotel for the healed.”
Hospitality at its essence is about allowing others to feel both loved and welcomed, which is what Jesus has modeled for us in His kindness toward us.
The Original Template
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,
And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
How I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house,
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well. Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in Asia…
1 Corinthians 16:19
The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord.
Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.
And Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house:
1 Corinthians 14:26
What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.
And Levi made Jesus a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them.
And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
And Jesus answered them,
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
Jesus said also to the man who had invited him,
“When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid.
But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
How do we practically open our homes and begin to build community as we live on mission?
Plan for it…
Our tendency was to just have the same people over, because it was what was comfortable for us.
We have to put it into our budget and onto our calendar and in due time it will become a regular rhythm in which we live…
Keep it simple…
Put it in your budget and plug it into your calendar and begin inviting people into your home or you will not do it.
The Bible calls us to be hospitable with both believers and nonbelievers, so make sure you are inviting both.
Biblical hospitality is the opposite of entertaining.
We’re inviting someone into real life in a way that they get to know the real us and feel comfortable enough to be their real self.
Am I saying don’t clean up or don’t seek to cook a good meal?
No. I am simply saying to let them see the real you. We tend to frantically clean up our house and make it as Instagram-worthy as possible.
Relax and let people see the real you and how God’s grace applies in your life and that everything isn’t always perfectly together for you and your family.
Sacrifice for it…
– Hospitality is not easy.
– Hospitality will cost you something, always.
– Opening up your home to others will cost money, take time and drain personal energy. It will shake up the peace and quiet that seems so sparse.
– There’s a good reason why Peter writes, Show hospitality without grumbling. It’s easy to complain; hospitality is costly.
– Don’t focus on what it costs. Focus on what it’s worth.
– God is in the business of using those who are sacrificial.
– Hospitality is the practical outworking of the gospel.
– Hospitality not only displays kindness, but it aggressively flies into the face of isolation and brings about catalytic change within the communities that God has strategically placed us.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’
Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’
Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’
And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”