Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Scripture Thursday ~ Hospitality ~ Guest Blogger

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 4:9-10


Compliments of the Graphics Fairy

When I think of hospitality, I think of Corrie Ten Boom and her family.  Below is a paragraph from the book:  Corrie, The Lives She’s Touched by Joan Winmill Brown

Mama Ten Boom, loved to have her home filled with people.  The little house was already crowded with four children, three aunts, Papa, and herself, but somehow she always found room for one more person around the oval family dining table.  Through this, Corrie learned that hospitality did not depend on how much one had to give materially, but on sharing whatever the Lord had given.  The quantity of soup in the pot would be increased by an extra portion of water – but the kindness with which it was served must have made it taste delicious to the guests that came to the Beje – many with such desperate needs. 

The word HOSPITALITY is defined in Webster’s 1828 dictionary as:
The act or practice of receiving and entertaining strangers or guests without reward, or with kind and generous liberality.




I’m thrilled to have my friend Natalie as a guest here today.  She shares with us, a biblical perspective on Hospitality below.  Natalie lives in California with her husband who is a pastor, is active in women’s ministry, an avid papercrafter, and loves spending time with her grandchildren. 

Natalie ~ Delightful Details

Hospitality ~ The Heart of Jesus
What does Scripture instruct us about hospitality?

Abram’s example ~ Genesis 18:1-8

Rahab’s example ~ Joshua 2
Her hospitality is rewarded.  Rahab and her family are protected when Jericho’s walls came tumbling down.  Who knew that when this harlot who showed hospitality and lodged these two men that she would end up in the lineage of Christ AND in the Hall of Faith.

By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.   Hebrews 11:31

Nabal’s (not so good) example ~ 1 Samuel 25:2-42
Refusing to be hospitable, Nabal was punished but then his wise and prudent wife, Abigail extends hospitality and was rewarded and commended by King David. (I do not think it’s a coincidence that Abigail had 5 maidservants. Five in Scripture represents grace and as Abigail was gracious in sharing with David and his men, she in turn was extended grace.)

It was a necessity in the Middle Eastern culture, not just a matter of good manners and even though we don’t have maidservants to always help us (like Sarah and Abigail) we still can extend hospitality.

Elisha and the Shunammite family ~ 2 Kings 4




Hospitality is truly a "HEART" issue

But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?
1 John 3:17

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
Romans 12:9-13


Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.  1 Peter 4:9

(my personal testimony and how the Lord has spoken to my heart about the grumbling)


Is hospitality a gift?
I think it's more of a command or an expectation for the Christian, than a gift. It's something we need to exercise more in our culture. We are too comfortable within our own four walls after being out in the "rat race" all day.

Not all of us have "maidservants" to help us keep the house clean.  Nor do we all have a fabulous well balanced and delicious dinner on the table, or all the other responsibilities that fall upon women today.  We can however, be hospitable by not being so concerned about the "entertaining aspect".  Rather, having a heart for the people, as well as meeting the needs of a lonely person who cannot return the favor. 







Hospitality is sharing what we have and who we are with whomever God sends. Hospitality includes setting aside time for fellowship and being flexible in order to accommodate impromptu gatherings
.












Rewards accompany hospitality.

Sharing with and serving others demands sacrifices, and you are promised that your sacrifices do not go unnoticed.

For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Hebrews 6:10

Let brotherly love continue.  Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.
Hebrews 13:1-2




Thank you so much Natalie, for sharing on my blog today.  You are a blessing.   I'll close today with a quote by author Emilie Barnes.

Reach out and care for someone who the touch of hospitality.  The time you spend caring today will be a love gift that will blossom into the fresh joy of God's Spirit in the future.If you are receiving this post via email, you can view it on my blog here:
Little Birdie Blessings


Linked to: 
A Sheltering Tree, Monday's Musings, Word Art Wednesday, Hearts 4 HomeEncourage One Another, Teach Me Tuesdays, The Alabaster Jar

18 comments:

marie said...

Thank you (and Natalie) for this great post on hospitality. I really appreciate all the scriptures and thoughts on what hospitality truly is.

Natalie said...

Abby, thanks for letting me share, I hope it will be an encouragement to your readers! I love all the vintage photos you've embellished with, they are absolutely perfect for the topic!! You are such a blessing.

SarahGeorge said...

Amazing post on "hospitality" dear Abby! Thanks to dear Natalie for sharing a biblical message on the wonderful topic. Many times I used to think,"my efforts are vain" but today I understood that they don't go unnoticed by God:)Thank you for sharing the beautiful quotes and images too Abby!

Pamelyn said...

Thanks to you, Abby and Natalie for a great post! You make a very good point about the "entertaining aspect". My Bible studies this week have been centered around being a servant to others - how appropriate to see a post on hospitality! I just love how God puts things together for me!! Blessings to you both...
~Pamelyn

Vee said...

Hospitality is something I think about often and I appreciated this post. My blogging friend Cheryl at Thinking About Home says that hospitality is not to impress, but rather to bless. I imagine that Mama Ten Boom was all about that!

Shoregirl said...

Love the quote about Corrie's family! Along those same lines -- I was told by one of the evangelist we kept that "it's not so much what you serve, but how you serve it! -- It's all in the presentation" he said.
One of the highest compliments I've received as a hostess was from him when he told one of our parishioners that I had a wonderful "presentation."
I like for my home to be clean, comfortable, and relaxing for our guests.
Your post encouraged me to strive even harder to serve Jesus by serving others!

Carole Robb Bisson said...

Abby and Natalie,
Thank you so much for sharing this. I beleive practising hopitality has been lost in the church today. I so love getting a wonderful meal ready the glistening china and extending an invitation. Alas we have become so busy we exchange the wonderful cina for chinet if we do have anyone in.
Thank you for sharing your wonderful page of insights with us this week.
Carole Robb Bisson
Word Art Wednesday
The Blessing of the LORD be Upon You!

Stephanie said...

Thank you, Abby, for having Natalie on your blog today. I have just recently started following her and have enjoyed visiting her blog. The post today was wonderful! My husband has been doing a study of David in Sunday School and a few weeks ago he talked about Nabal and Abigail :)

I hope you have a blessed day, Abby!

Hugs,
Stephanie

Sü Smith said...

What a wonderful post! Sometimes I struggle with discernment in certain situations. Just last night something amazing happened I believe to be as a result of generosity. We live in an apartment above a mother and son. I gifted the son a computer and we let them use our internet. From time to time the son plays loud music (from the computer). For a while it was music that had a negative message. I considered revoking his internet access, because we can sometimes hear the music upstairs.

So last night I heard him playing music and guess what? The music was Christian rap with a positive message about God and being blessed! I was awestruck, and believe that because I set him up with a music streaming service that he was able to find music that he normally wouldn't have encountered otherwise.

Noelle the dreamer said...

Beautiful Abby and love the notes about Corrie ten Boom. If there is one person I would have loved to meet in my lifetime, it is her!
God bless,

Leah Rose said...

Thank you for introducing us to her! I joined her blog today, and it was also nice to discover that both you and she are pastor's wives like myself!

Sandi McLean said...

A lovely post. Visiting from CDAC. Sandi

Doreen said...

Thank you for a beautiful reminder. Also in scripture after that event when David marries her and she is taken in a battle. The men who were tired and stayed behind were shown hospitality by David over the grumbling of his men. ! Samuel is so many great stories!!!

MaxineD said...

Thank you ladies for this - my struggle is not so much the sharing of food etc, as it is the sharing of time.
Blessings
Maxine

Karen Letchworth said...

This is an absolutely beautiful post - both artistically and spiritually. It hit me right in the core of my heart, Abby. I was studying this week with our middle daughter about the qualifications of a pastor in 1 Timothy, and we were talking about hospitality (which we all know falls greatly on his wife). Whether we are a pastor's wife, or a layman's wife, it's still something we all need to learn. She feels called to be in the ministry (probably a pastor's wife...and she is in her second year of Bible College) but we were speaking of ways they began to learn hospitality as little girls. I wish more young Christian women learned this early to raise up their daughters (and sons) to be hospitable. I could rambke, but I won't. Just wanted you to know how this touched me. Thanks for sharing, and for inviting Natalie to share. This really touched my heart.
Hope all is well with you, and may God bless you and smile upon you as you continue to share His beautiful truths.
Your sister in Him,
Karen

Word Art Wednesday

Lori said...

One of my favorite encouragements to hospitality and kindness is found in the book of Proverbs: "He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." It's true -- I'm always at least as blessed as my guests, usually more. I'm visiting today from Hungry for God; Starving for God, and glad I did. :)

Jennifer said...

Thank you both of you for sharing such a wonderfully encouraging post! What a blessing it is to be able to share with others, especially to the Love of God!

Faye said...

Wonderful post on hospitality. I love the birdie card with the wonderful scripture on it.