1 Peter 4:9-10
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.
Yesterday we saw the importance of loving each other deeply. So often this earnest love, which seeks the good of others before one’s own, finds practical expression in hospitality. Hospitality, though a scriptural duty, is to be offered ungrudgingly to one another without resenting the time and expense that may be involved. In his commentary on 1 Peter, Wayne Grudem writes, “Such grumbling is ultimately a complaint against God and His ordering of our circumstances, and its result is to drive out faith, thanksgiving and joy.” Though hospitality to all people is certainly pleasing to God, Peter’s emphasis on hospitality to one another—that is, to other Christians—is consistent with the rest of the New Testament.
We see this concept of hospitality expressed in the Parable of the Good Samaritan found in Luke chapter ten. In this parable, the good Samaritan shows hospitality to the victim of a robbery. When the Samaritan saw the wounded man, he “had compassion on him.” He cleaned and bound his wounds. He transported him to the closest inn. There, he continued to take care of him. When he left the inn, he gave the innkeeper enough money to continue caring for this man. The Samarian traveler did all this without grumbling or complaining. When you consider the time and expense it would have taken to show hospitality to this man, one might think the Samaritan rescuer would have legitimate reasons to complain. Instead, he promises the inn keeper that he will repay him for any extra expense he might incur for his continued care for this robbery victim. It is important to note that these men were strangers. Peter is making the point that during difficult times we should go out of our way to practice hospitality to those in the household of faith.
Then, Peter encourages us to exercise our spiritual gifts (see 1 Corinthians 12) to serve one another. Within the fellowship of the church, sincere love for one another will find expression in the use of spiritual gifts. Not for self-advancement or to draw attention to ourselves, but for the benefit of others. It is important to note that hospitality is one of the spiritual gifts mentioned in Scripture. Peter draws attention to this one gift because it is clear that every believer should show hospitality to one another even if it is not their spiritual gift. “Good stewards of God’s gift will not hide it but employ it for the benefit of others” – W. Grudem. God’s design for these gifts is that we use them!
Questions to Ponder:
How are you showing hospitality during these difficult times? Do you serve others without grumbling or complaining? Do you know what your spiritual gift is? How are you employing your spiritual gift in the life of the church? What stands out to you in the Parable of the Good Samaritan?
- Worship the Father in heaven for being the best and perfect “host” of all. He has invited us into His House, into Christ, into the Church, into fellowship with Him, and gives us good things.
- Praise Him that He became poor so that we could be rich. He took on sin and death so we might have everlasting life in Him. Praise Him for taking our rags and giving us His robe of righteousness and garment of salvation.
- Thank Him for our inheritance in all the saints, a good inheritance in Him. Praise Him for we are richly blessed – called, set apart, redeemed, lavished with His love, forgiven, given His Holy Spirit to reside in us, to seal us, and to guide and direct us each day. He has blessed us with a new family and household, given us faith, and called us out of the dominion of darkness and brought into the kingdom of light. We have been rescued from evil, death, and this world and brought into the Kingdom of His light.
- Ask Him to help and show you how you can open up your heart, life, home, and yard to others. Invite someone today by faith.
Father in heaven, I praise You for being Immanuel, God with us. I worship You, indwelling Spirit, the Spirit of Christ that is in me, the Hope of Glory. Shepherd my heart into Your truth today, Lord. Lead me on a level path. Go before me and be in the center of every conversation and interaction I have today. Lord, I give to You my heavy burdens right now, burdens of not having it all together, job situations, family, marriage, friendships, finances, health, the elections, cultural divisions, etc. Oh Father, so many things to give over to You. I surrender them to You, and I receive Your yolk today because it is light and easy.
Thank You for Your rest. Thank You that You love to take those things from me, for You know what to do with it all. Thank You that as I seek first Your Kingdom, all these other things will be added. So my prayer today is not for me but for the person You will have me invite to my house or to sit out in my yard. I ask, Lord, that You would bless and encourage them. Grant them peace in the areas where they are really concerned. Use me, Lord, to reflect Your peace, acceptance, and love. Grant me words that may sustain their weary heart. I ask for mutual encouragement as we meet together. Start a hospitality revival inside my heart and home. I ask in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.