Hospitality

But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.
And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1 Peter 4:7-10

Here Peter is being extremely sober. He is thinking of the most challenging of times. He is thinking of the end.  What he highlights as critically important might be surprising as the remarks that he really wants left with his readers:

1. Be devoted to prayer – well maybe this is less surprising, we should always be vigilent in prayer. Prayer should not be that which we turn to in times of need or when in trouble. rather develop a life habit of prayer, fuel devotion in prayer. Devotion is that which is commited over time through thick and thin. This vigilence in prayer will ensure we are not caught out when a trial comes. It means we will be alert and ready to defeat any obstacle that comes our way.

2. Be devoted to ONE ANOTHER – give yourself to hospitality. Hospitality isn’t what would first come to mind under moments of extreme trial. But it makes absolute sense. We need God and we need each other. We need to guard our relationship with God when under pressure and our relationship with others.

Its at such times that a strain can be placed on our relationship with God and others. We should be vigilant in both. Love others by overlooking disagreements, avoiding negative talk or gossip, controlling our tongue under pressure, by being hospitable, live in each others’ worlds – giving and receiving the warmth of friendship. Building the most powerful bonds of strength over the fellowship of the table.

Out of this relationship and context SERVE ONE ANOTHER with whatever gift God has given you – speaking, giving, helping. Ministry flows out of relationship. This will guard you against many types of pressures and temptations. This context is extremely important to our ministry.

Ministry is not simply the delivering of a gift. Ministry is the context in which we serve that gift. The gift is explosive in an environment of love and acceptance.

These bonds will defeat all obstacles and opposition. Love is more powerful than all.  Show hospitality in this season! See you in Church.

Great message from Lizby on Hospitality.