Corrie ten Boom once said, “A wall with loose bricks is not good. The bricks must be cemented together.” Jesus taught us how to have community and be cemented together. So far, we have seen that we are to love, encourage, and pray for one another. Today, we will see that we are also to show hospitality. “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling” (1 Peter 4:9).
The Glory of Hospitality
1 Peter 4:11 says, “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ….” Have you given Christ the rightful place and rightful praise in your life? The Bible says the heavens declare the glory of God, but God also said whatever you do in word or deed, do all for the glory of God (Col. 3:17). God has chosen to display His glory not only in the heavens, but also on earth in the way we treat one another. This world is not an end itself. Everything about this world was designed and created to display the glory of God. Jesus is to be magnified in the way we show hospitality to one another.
The Gift of Hospitality
“As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10). Hospitality is a gift from God. Here the Greek word means to “be generous to guests.” We have tried to model that for our children. Our four children grew up expecting guests in our home – guest preachers, evangelists, deacons, staff, church members, etc. You say, “My apartment is small. We don’t have lots of room.” It is not the size of the house, but the spirit of the house that counts. I read a poem on Sunday that hung on my Granny Ethridge’s wall: “You’ll find where’er you roam, that marble floors and gilded walls can never make a home. But every house where love abides and friendship is a guest, is surely home, and home sweet home, for there the heart can rest.”
The Grumbling of Hospitality
1 Peter 4:7 begins by saying, “But the end of all things is at hand.” The disciples believed Jesus would come in their lifetime. That is how we ought to feel. Every generation of believers should feel like Jesus is coming in our lifetime. It should be positive not negative. It should drive us to open our homes and show hospitality, not drive us underground in isolation to live in a doomsday bunker! Make good use of the time you have left because your days are numbered. Everything in this life is temporary. When we view our possessions, bodies, lives, bank accounts, houses, cars, vacation homes, boats, jet skis, etc., as gifts from God, then we can be good stewards, using it all for His glory. Open up your heart, hands, and your home. Don’t be grumpy! “Be hospitable to one another without grumbling” (1 Peter 4:9).
The Gospel of Hospitality
“For this reason the gospel was preached…” (1 Peter 4:6). My dad was saved at age 12. He joined the Navy and came home out of church. He would drive my mom and brother to church and sit in the parking lot. Every Sunday, a man would tap on the window and just talk to him. He invited him inside. One week, my Dad went in and then he got back in church. He became a Sunday School teacher, a deacon, the choir director, etc. Today, I am a preacher of the Gospel. I grew up with both a mom and dad in church because God used a man out in the parking lot who kept talking to my dad.
The Greek word for hospitality in Hebrews and Romans means to “love strangers.” Hospitality is more than having your friends over. It is having strangers over you don’t really know. Everyone should be inviting new faces and new friends. We tend to think that the people who preach or sing are doing ministry, but YOU preach the first sermon to your neighbors, to those you come in contact with, and to guests in our church! Use your gifts and show hospitality without grumbling, all for the glory of God!