Irvin Wasswa- Tylertown Campus Pastor LHBC

Romans 12:13
13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

One of the joys of my time in middle/high school was having the opportunity to attend student ministry at a local church in town. I loved attending for two reasons: Free Pizza, and free basketball. Every Wednesday night my mother would drop my sister and I off at church. My sister was in the children’s ministry and oftentimes they would finish children’s ministry 10-15 sooner than youth ministry would finish. My mother would text me while I was still in youth service to let me know of her plans to leave me if I didn’t make my way outside while she was picking up my sister. I thought she was bluffing, but came to find out that day and every other Wednesday night she did in fact leave me at the church to find a ride home. I should’ve known better because my mom did not play!

While attending the youth group, I became friends with another student there named Brennen who was a few years older than I was, and had a vehicle. Every Wednesday night after church he agreed to give me a ride home in spite of the inconvenience it brought him. The trip was out of the way from his route home. Oftentimes he was in charge of locking up the church so he would have to take me home late. While I rode in his car, I would eat all of his candy and share all my issues and problems with him as if he was my counselor. I could have been seen as more of a nuisance than a friend, but Brennen saw me as his friend. Over time we began to have conversations about faith and knowing God. Over time the seeds of the gospel were planted in my heart, and about a year later I gave my heart and life to Jesus. Brennen’s decision to choose to be hospitable to me were some of the seeds planted which led to my surrender to Jesus.

Hospitality is a key component in the Christian life The apostle Paul tells us that we ought to seek to be hospitable to those who are around us. What does that look like? Choosing to step out and engage with that individual at work, or inviting that new family to come into your home to get to know them better. Either way, our call as believers is to be welcoming and hospitable to all people. 

We see pictures of hospitality all over the New Testament as the first century church was beginning to form. From the disciple Phillip taking time to share the gospel with the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8), to his time spent in Ephesus training and teaching the new believers in the region (Acts 19), Paul was a man who chose hospitality. Jesus Himself was hospitable as well as he oftentimes bucked the religious culture to welcome and serve those who were known as the “down and out” in culture. He stepped into their lives, loved them and brought life change! In the same way, we too are tasked with being hospitable by loving our neighbor and those around us to bring forth to them the hope of Jesus!

What does it look like in your life to show hospitality? If we are not careful we can easily find ourselves becoming too comfortable in our “comfort bubbles” to where we stop caring about the lost all around us. Perhaps showing hospitality to that lost person is a seed that is planted in their life that leads to them receiving Jesus. Perhaps choosing to be welcoming, warm and friendly to that family who is seen as “down and out”, leads to them coming to faith. I have personally seen and witnessed the power of hospitality and how the Lord used my friend Brennen to work in my life. What if He wants to use you to minister in the same way? Choose to be hospitable and welcoming today! 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for showing the greatest form of hospitality in sending Your Son Jesus to die on a cross so we could be reunited with You. Help me to be hospitable to others no matter what they look like or where they come from. Help me to see and understand the power that is in choosing to be welcoming. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Hebrews 6:19- We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain