Stylos is the blog of Jeff Riddle, a Reformed Baptist Pastor in North Garden, Virginia. The title "Stylos" is the Greek word for pillar. In 1 Timothy 3:15 Paul urges his readers to consider "how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar (stylos) and ground of the truth."
Wednesday, January 08, 2014
How to have a warm and welcoming home
Note: Here are my sermon notes from last afternoon's message at CRBC on hospitality which follows three points: (1) the Biblical basis for hospitality; (2) the spiritual usefulness (benefits) of hospitality; and (3) how to make your home a warm and welcoming center of hospitality:
How to have a warm and
1 Peter 4:9
CRBC, January 5, 2014
We begin today a brief afternoon series on personal
ministry.We want to look today at the
ministry of hospitality by asking how we can develop a warm and welcoming home.
I.The Biblical Basis for Hospitality:
Hospitality was highly valued by the saints in the OT.Consider how Abraham and Sarah received the
three men who come to them on the Plain of Mamre:
18:2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and
when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed
himself toward the ground, 3 And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in
thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: 4 Let a little water,
I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:
5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye
shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do,
as thou hast said. 6 And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said,
Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes
upon the hearth. 7 And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and
good, and gave it unto a young man;
and he hasted to dress it. 8 And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which
he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the
tree, and they did eat.
contrast that with the way these same men were treated in Sodom in Genesis
19.Through righteous Lot gladly took
them into his home (19:1-3), the vile men of that city attempted to abuse them.
the pious Shunamite woman in 2 Kings 4 who extended hospitality to the prophet
2 Kings 4:8 And it fell on a
day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she
constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he
passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread. 9 And she said unto her husband,
Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. 10 Let us make a
little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed,
and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to
us, that he shall turn in thither. 11 And it fell on a day, that he came
thither, and he turned into the chamber, and lay there.
faithfulness was rewarded by having her womb opened to conceive a son and then,
later, to have that son miraculously raised to life after he died.
we come to the New Testament we find the same high value given to hospitality.
Lord in his earthly ministry had no place to lay his head but he received the
hospitality of his disciples.Consider
how Jesus came into Simon Peter’s home:
Luke 4:38 And he arose out of
the synagogue, and entered into Simon's house. And Simon's wife's mother was
taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her. 39 And he stood over
her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and
ministered unto them.
into the home of Mary and Martha:
Luke 10:38 Now it came to
pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman
named Martha received him into her house.
even received hospitality from those who were not disciples (e.g., it was
whilein the home of Simon the Pharisee
that the sinful woman anointed his feet in Luke 7).
also find that the apostles, the first ministers of Christ’s flocks, received
first gathering of believers in Jerusalem after Christ’s resurrection was in
the upper room of a home, which might well of been a house belonging to Mary,
the mother of John Mark (Acts 1:13; 12:12).
says that in the early church, they broke bread “from house to house” (Acts
stayed in Joppa at the home of Simon the Tanner (9:43) who also received
messengers from Cornelius (10:23:“Then
he called them in and lodged them”).Peter then went into the home of Cornelius in Caesarea (10:24-25).
newly converted Lydia gives hospitality to Paul and Barnabas:
Acts 16:15 And when she was
baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged
me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And
she constrained us.
does the newly converted jailer:
Acts 16:34 And when he had
brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing
in God with all his house.
is presented as a mark or evidence of true conversion!
was constantly receiving hospitality in his missionary travels.In Corinth, for example, Paul was received
and hosted by Aquila and Priscilla:
Acts 18:1 After these things
Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; 2 And found a certain Jew named
Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla;
(because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came
unto them. 3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and
wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers. 4 And he reasoned in the
synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
example is godly Mnason:
Acts 21:16 There went with us
also certain of the disciples of Caesarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple,
with whom we should lodge.
then, we might say, returns the favor when for two years he was under house
arrest in Rome, as Luke records:
Acts 28:30 And Paul dwelt two
whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,
was a general duty expected of all Christians:
Romans 12:10 Be kindly
affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one
another; 11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13
Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality (here the noun philoxenia for hospitality which literally
means, “love of strangers”).
1 Peter 4:8 And above all
things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the
multitude of sins. 9 Use hospitality (the adjective philoxenos, “hospitable” is used here) one to another without
grudging. 10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the
same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Hebrews 13:2 Be not
forgetful to entertain strangers
(literally:forget not hospitality, philoxenia): for thereby some
have entertained angels unawares.
Christians were to be discerning and not welcome false teachers:
2 John 1:9 Whosoever
transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that
abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If
there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your
house, neither bid him God speed:
is also especially expected of elders.1
Timothy 3:2 says the bishop is to be “given to hospitality” and Titus 1:8 says
an elder is to be a “lover of hospitality.”
spiritual usefulness (benefits) of hospitality:
1.It provides a practical means to facilitate
ministry, whether opening your home to a church meeting or keeping a visiting
minister or brother.
2.It provides an opportunity for deeper fellowship
3.It aids in our discipleship by giving us a
concrete opportunity to serve.
4.It exposes our family to ministry and to
5.It reminds us that we are but stewards of all we
have (Psalm 24:1).
we make our home a warm and welcoming center of hospitality:
1.By recognizing that hospitality is a basic
Christian opportunity for ministry and service.
2.By having a willingness of spirit to extend
hospitality (becoming a “lover of hospitality”).In practical terms, volunteering to offer
your home to Christian service when needed (hosting church meetings, welcoming
fellow members into your home, keeping visiting ministers or missionaries).
3.By creating space in your home so that you
can extend hospitality.Don’t have so
much clutter that there could not be a meeting space in your home (which need
not be large).Some can set aside a room
as a true guest room, as the Shunamite did.They might keep a
guest log to register the visitors they have and periodically pray for
them.Others do not have the space for a
room set aside, but they can have a plan (e.g., guests will stay in the master
bedroom while we move into the children’s room).If you do not have a plan to host, you will
be less likely to host.
4.By keeping your home neat and tidy enough
(though it need not be like a museum) to be able to welcome guests even
unexpectedly.Some are held back from
opening their home for fear of being judged.We should not hold impossibly high standards.If our home is like a museum, then folk will
not feel comfortable staying there.
5.By seeking to learn about those who visit or
stay with you (asking questions about them and showing interest in their lives
and making reasonable accommodations to their needs [special meals for diabetics,