TOPIC: HOSPITABLE ? - 16 May 2018
Memorise: The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. Proverbs 11:25
Read: 2 Kings 4:8-17
8 And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread.
9 And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually.
10 Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.
11 And it fell on a day, that he came thither, and he turned into the chamber, and lay there.
12 And he said to Gehazi his servant, Call this Shunammite. And when he had called her, she stood before him.
13 And he said unto him, Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host? And she answered, I dwell among mine own people.
14 And he said, What then is to be done for her? And Gehazi answered, Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old.
15 And he said, Call her. And when he had called her, she stood in the door.
16 And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And she said, Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid.
17 And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life.
Hospitability is the act of generosity and friendship shown towards strangers, and it includes the responsibility of protecting the interests of those received as guests. God admonishes His children to be hospitable as part of our duty to others and in gratitude for the salvation, favour and mercy we have received from Him (Exodus 22:21). Several passages of Scripture emphasise hospitality as a godly virtue (Romans 12:13, 1 Peter 4:9). Hebrews 13:2 says
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
Furthermore, the Bible mentions hospitality as one of the preconditions for becoming a leader in the Church (1 Timothy 3:2). Hospitality has played a very important role in the Redeemed Christian Church of God right from the very beginning. It forms part of our core beliefs and practices. We teach that you don’t have to be rich to look after visitors. You can entertain four people with a single orange by slicing it into four parts and presenting it nicely on a decent plate with glasses of water. May you receive the true spirit of hospitality today in Jesus’ Name.
The Bible admonishes that since we naturally desire to receive hospitality from others, we should show it to others as well. The Lord in Matthew 7:12 says,
“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”
Even when describing the type of fast that God finds acceptable, the Holy Spirit in Isaiah 58:7a said:
“Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house?”
Deuteronomy 26:12 also speaks about feeding the stranger, the fatherless and the window. All these verses of Scripture shows that we are duty-bound as Children of God to provide for the needs of these classes of people regularly. More importantly, Jesus clearly teaches that hospitality is going to be a major criterion that will be used separate the sheep from the goats on the last day (Matthew 25:33-35). This means that it will be practically impossible for anyone to enter heaven without being hospitable. Jesus expects every Christian to love their neighbor as themselves. He expects us to use hospitality as a tool to spread the love of God and the good news of the gospel all over the world. I pray that you will yield yourself as an instrument of spreading God’s love everywhere through hospitality in Jesus’ Name.
Action point: Think of how you can use hospitality to spread the love of God and the message of the gospel and the message of the gospel in your locality. Draw up a plan and implement it.
Open Heavens Daily Devotional Lessons was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical Church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer's Ministries.