Pre-Hospitality Heart Check

Pre-Hospitality Heart Check

I’m starting a little series on hospitality, that I hope will encourage you as you seek to open your home and life to others.

We know, as women of God, that hospitality is not for just for the Martha Stewarts and June Cleavers of the church.

Hospitality (literally “stranger love” or expressing brotherly love to a stranger)  is  commanded in both Testaments.


One example from the OT, God gave specific instructions to Israel for treating the “stranger among you.”

  • Lev. 19:33,34 “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

And in the NT, God equates brotherly love with the fervent pursuit of hospitality.

  • Romans 12:13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
  • 1 Peter 4:9 Be hospitable to one another without complaint.
  • Heb. 13:2a  Do not neglect to show hospitality…

Why? Because I am the Lord your God… and I want your character to mirror my character.

Before the command to show hospitality in Romans 12:13, if you back up to the beginning of the chapter, you’ll recognize Romans 12: 1, 2, famous verses which give us a great starting place to begin any spiritual endeavor, including hospitality. We’re told to present our bodies as living sacrifices which is an act of “spiritual worship.”

Ephesians 2:1-10 teaches that God has specific good works for us to do. Pre-planned jobs, if you will. We’re taught that God saved us by His grace, so that in the ages to come He could point to us and display how good and gracious He is to those who belong to Him in Christ Jesus. AND,  He calls us His “handiwork” (Eph. 2:10) or “Masterpieces” as some translations put it, and says we were created to do good works which God prepared in advance as our way of life.

One of these good works which should be part of the Christian lifestyle is hospitality, and since it is a spiritual pursuit, and therefore an act of spiritual worship, we need to prepare our hearts to worship God with our outstretched hands to make sure we’re pure in heart and motive before Him.

I know this is a no-brainer, but our hospitality isn’t spiritual worship if our heart is not worshipping!

Hospitality demands extra energy, time, money, and care, and it’s in those moments when we are stretched thin or our patience is at its end with an ungrateful or unlovable guest, that the quality of our “worship” becomes evident.

I love the verse in Mark that mentions that Jesus, after a busy day of teaching, healing, and meeting the needs around Him, got up EARLY, while it was still dark, and went off to a solitary spot to PRAY. (Mark 1:35) He didn’t sleep in late the next day, because He wanted something more than sleep: communion with His Father. I think it’s safe to say that we need to this as well, before the demands of the day begin.

{{Also, side note, I love the fact that the next verse says His time of worship was interrupted by Simon who came out to find Him and said, “Everyone is looking for you!” (Mark 1:36) (Mothers everywhere can relate to this, can’t we!? Having your quiet time interrupted by all the things! Especially our little ones who need you first thing in the morning! lol)}}

You may say, “I do my devotions every day, do or die.”

Ah, yes, but doing your “devotions” does not necessarily mean that you worshipped, and therein lies the difference.

Before “service” for God, we must have “relationship” with Him!

Worship is praise for all that God is and does, and worship changes us!

  • A heart of worship, recognizes God’s worth. You alone are worthy!
  • A heart of worship recognizes God’s greatness! All the angels of God are worshipping You right now in heaven!
  • A heart of worship recognizes God’s sovereignty! You rule over all creation! All things exist because of You.
  • A heart of worship rejoices in God’s mercy! You condescended to dwell with us, you redeemed us, and your mercy towards us endures forever!
  • A heart of worship recognizes God’s faithfulness. We have hoped in You and your steadfast love! O Lord, in you I have put my trust; never let me be put to shame!

A heart of worship praises and praises some more!

Your daily worship is a time for you to pursue friendship with God. God wants to commune with you. It’s also a time for you to seek God’s instruction and to know God’s will through the Scriptures, AND to take what you learn and apply it. IF you read God’s Word and gloss over your sin when the Spirit convicts you, can you really say you are in close fellowship with God? Wanting what He wants? Reading to EXPECT CORRECTION is the wise way to approach God’s Word. We want what He wants. We want to hate what grieves Him, and when He shows us that in our lives, we WANT to change it.

I’m really excited to embark on this little study with you, but without a proper sense of hospitality as worship, I fear that this study might just become a burdensome to-do list for you.

BUT, When we commit our days to the Lord, and ascribe to Him the glory due to Him, we can expect that He WILL lead us to the people and strangers that He wants us to love and serve, and that He’ll walk with us as we do it.

We’ll be serving with a heavenly mindset that sees Him as before all things and as the reason for all things, even our good works. And that will make all the difference.





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