Thursday, October 16th, 2014
Leadership (Part 27)
Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable...
1 Timothy 3:2 (NIV)
Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.
Matthew 25:40 (NKJV)
Among the children of Israel, hospitality was a custom, a duty and a Law. 'The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself' (Leviticus 19:34). Jesus expanded upon this Law:
'When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed...' (Luke 14:12-14).
His first disciples traveled from house to house, tending to new believers: 'Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality' (Romans 12:13). They also reached out to others: 'Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels' (Hebrews 13:2).
They wanted to pass God's tests, spread His news and love all people--regardless of their appearance, actions or circumstances. They were full-time ambassadors, and their hospitality opened the doors to countless hearts.
Today, a handful of missionaries live this same life. They leave the comforts of home and extend God's hospitality to the most unfortunate people in the direst of positions. They humble me.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: posting on Instagram is not enough; texting on phones isn't either. Hanging with friends won't do it. Neither will greeters in church. A mission trip is nice, but what about a mission life? What about a permanent outreach?
Let's not fool ourselves. Jesus was all about inconvenient hospitality: going out of His way and getting out of His ease to help others.* He commissioned us to copy Him.
Today, in the most urgent of times, He has given us a new path: media. The church considers it dangerous and polluted: filled with sinners and losers, taints and temptations.
But aren't those the ones to whom Jesus showed the greatest hospitality?
To Be Continued...
* See Matthew 25:31-46: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew+25%3A31-46&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Leadership series.