So here we are again. In last week’s blog post I had Hurricane Harvey on my mind and offered one way (of many great ways) to donate.
This week Irma arrives, hitting Florida coasts that are closer to home for me here in Georgia. While at work this week nearly every co-worker was taking calls from Floridian family members or friends asking to come ride out Irma storm in the greater safety in Georgia (at least according to forecasts).
So people are coming.
- There isn’t a hotel room to be found here in Georgia this weekend.
- The Atlanta Motor Speedway has opened its camping facilities free of charge to evacuees seeking temporary shelter from Hurricane Irma. How beautiful is that?
And when they arrive, they are tired.
A friend just texted me. His 84-year old dad traveled from Florida to Georgia last night. What was normally a 7-hour drive took 15. Imagine being stuck in traffic on a road with no exits for hours, with nothing to do but watch the gas gauge dropping.
Georgia, we have an opportunity to be hospitable. Let’s not blow it.
Last week the church in Houston had an opportunity to rise to the occasion and become the hands and feet of Jesus to those suffering a storm. Now it’s our turn.
Here are some biblical reminders about the way God’s style of hospitality looks:
1. Hospitality is sought out.
When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Romans 12:13
2. Hospitality is not an inconvenience.
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 1 Peter 4:8-10
3. Hospitality shares generously.
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16
4. Hospitality is personalized.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:8-10
5. Hospitality is for God more than people.
When the inconvenience strikes, remember Colossians 3:23-24: Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
6. Authentic hospitality is love.
For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14
7. Hospitality is not an act of superiority.
You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. Exodus 22:21
8. Hospitality makes the church visible to the watching world.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
9. Hospitality makes us look like the first century church…like how we are supposed to be.
And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity. Acts 2:44-46
Whew! I am ready to throw my doors open now. Will you join me?
Picture Explanation: While Irma heads to our coastlines, a lacrosse season begins.
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