The Power of Hospitality

From Paul Tripp Ministries

“In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” (John 14:2-4, ESV)

It’s the most amazing spiritual reality: at the end of the grand redemptive narrative, God will open his home to us!

Of all the word pictures he could have chosen, Jesus illustrates our eternal relationship with him in the context of a home. Why? Because deep in the soul of every human being is a desire to be loved, accepted, invited, and welcomed.

So, as we conclude this series about shining as a gospel light in our neighborhood, here’s the final encouragement: hospitality is a powerful instrument for evangelism, so put new feet under your table.

What if every Christian was known as the most hospitable family in their neighborhood? What if every Christian opened their doors generously and frequently for meals with their neighbors?

It will require rearranging your schedule so that you have time to prioritize hospitality. It will mean reallocating your finances to have a budget that can afford hospitality. It will mean readjusting your expectations for what you want your dream house to look like.

But there may be no greater opportunity to show and share the love of Christ than by opening your doors to your neighbors and inviting them into your home for a meal.

What a loving and disarming approach. You have opened your doors, invited strangers inside, prepared them a meal with your hands, purchased with your money, and given away freely.

This random act of hospitality might initially confuse them, but their guard will come down. Ask them questions, get them talking, and in the comfort of your home, because of your generous hospitality, a new relationship will begin to grow.

If you have kids, they are powerful instruments for evangelism and hospitality, too. Your kids will probably get to know the neighbors far faster than you would on your own. Many of the relationships that Luella and I formed in our neighborhood were because our kids’ made friends with the neighbors’ kids—or they just went up to the adults next door and started a conversation.

Invite all the kids in your neighborhood to your house for a meal, a party, or a game night. Invest in a big TV and the newest console. Invite the parents, too, and start natural conversations and relationships with them.

Yes, this means your couch and your rug will probably get stained. Items in your house will probably break. But those stains and shards will be to the glory of God! Praise Jesus for a home that’s worn out due to gospel hospitality.

In the same way that Jesus used the metaphor of a home, Scripture uses a dining table or a meal to illustrate God’s love for us:

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” (Psalm 23:5)

“Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9)

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food” (Isaiah 55:1-2)

There is no invitation greater than being invited to sit at Christ’s table. And God has placed you in your neighborhood to extend that invitation to those who have not yet accepted.

You can start that conversation and relationship naturally by inviting them to your table.

May we, as the light of the world, be less consumed and concerned by our schedule, finances, and privacy that we miss the opportunity to be hospitable.

A Prayer for Today: Lord, help me and my family to become generous and hospitable people. Would you empower and strengthen me to consider my neighbors as precious in your sight and worthy of my time, attention and even budget. May our home gather stains and worn out to the glory of your name! Turn my heart more and more into a reflection of your heart and help me to become an instrument of gospel hospitality. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.

God bless,

Paul David Tripp

Discussion Prompt for Children

What are some ideas we could brainstorm together to help make us more and more into the kind of people that all of our neighbors are drawn to? What would it look like for us to be intentional about getting to know our neighbors better?

Reflection Questions

1. Take a moment to think about how God has welcomed you to his table and invited you to sit down in his home. Knowing you are welcome with him, how might that feeling of love, comfort, and invitation spill over into your desire to be a hospitable neighbor to your neighborhood? In general, what do you think makes a good neighbor? Jot down a few characteristics of what that person would be like. Now, where is the gap between your ideal neighbor and the kind of neighbor you are in your community? What kinds of things might God be leading you to in order to close the gap?

2. What areas of your life are difficult for you to sacrifice in order to become a more hospitable person (time, attention, budget, cleanliness, etc.)? In what ways can you pray specifically for God to help you gain more of a heart for hospitality toward your neighbors?

3. How can you proactively get together with your family and talk about various ideas for opening up your home to your neighbors? Why might a conversation like that be difficult for the other members of your family? Why might a perspective shift be necessary if the topics of schedule, finances, and privacy keep coming up in that family conversation?

4. Who do you want to invite over to your home first?

The Power of Hospitality

New Hope Presbyterian Church Bridgeton, NJ

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