Today we are going to delve a little deeper into the concept of hospitality and, specifically, adjusting our attitude. Even if you are not an outgoing person, the mere idea of hosting makes you nervous, or you are fairly certain that hospitality is not one of your spiritual gifts, you can still nurture the spirit of hospitality in your heart and home.
Today I am sharing Psalm 37:23-24. I chose the New Century Version in particular because of the beautiful translation of the last part: “If they stumble, they will not fall, because the Lord holds their hand.” It is comforting to know that no matter what you are going through, the Lord will always be there for us… like a loving Parent holding on to their child’s hand.
What do you think of when you hear the word hospitality? Perhaps you recall a pleasant memory of a particularly fond visit with a family member or friend who seemed to have a special gift for making guests feel welcome and comfortable. On the other hand, maybe you want to invite family and friends over, but your life is so hectic and your house a total disaster and you’d feel ashamed if anyone saw it. But what if I told you that the secret to hospitality has nothing to do with your ability to keep a spotless magazine-cover home, buy fancy decor, or cook gourmet meals? Come learn the secret to great hospitality.
One of the most powerful yet subtle ways that the Lord moves in our lives is through people. Today’s verse is from 1 Thessalonians 5:11 and reads: “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
Today is November 1st, and as is my custom, I try to spend the entire month in a special spirit of thankfulness. We should be grateful all year long, but it is not uncommon throughout the world and human history for people to recognize a time of special thankfulness, usually around harvest time. In Biblical times, two of the major feasts outlined in Scripture were specifically connected with harvest and showing gratitude to the Lord for His blessings.
Relying only on God means fully, completely leaning on His strength no matter the situation, no matter the cost, no matter the end. Yes, even unto death. For this world is not our home, and there is something far greater in store. May every deed we do, every word we say — even in the midst of our greatest trials and deepest sorrows — point to the love of the Lord Jesus so that others will see His light shining through us and learn to love Him, too. Friend, that is our purpose and our privilege. To love God with all of our hearts, souls, strength and mind and, because He first loved us, show this love with all of those we meet. (Matthew 22:36-20) May we be able to sing His praises always. Glory to the Father! Glory to the Son! And to the blessed Spirit!
While the child struggled for life, King David pleaded for mercy and healing. He fasted, he prayed, he wept, he laid prostrate on the ground, he refused any form of comfort for seven long, agonizing days. When word of the baby’s death reached David, he rose, washed, worshiped at the Tabernacle, and then returned to normal life activities. Sometimes we read this part and wonder, as his own servants did, how is it that David wrestled with the Lord so deeply while the child still lived but the moment the child passed, he seems to have moved on? I can now say that I understand David like I never have before.
Every moment, every day is a precious gift of time. Let us cherish the time we have now and, no matter what difficult circumstance you may be going through, claim the peace that the Lord offers. “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Oh, that bright and glorious day! That day when the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. That wonderful and great day when sin and all of its ugly, painful effects will be no more. “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4, ESV)
Yes, we grieve. We grieve deeply. But we grieve with hope.
There were a few times this past week when we had no idea if Mom would survive. You may have experienced or may be experiencing something similar. It is important to grieve, to deal with the flood of conflicting emotions, to process the current situations (as uncertain as it is) and begin to mentally prepare for the various outcomes. But never lose heart. Don’t lose hope. Even when faced with death. Death is not the end but merely the beginning of a new chapter.