Hospitality: Day 10

Welcome The Interruption

by

Today's Text: Luke 19:1-10, Genesis 18:1-10, Genesis 19:1-11

Text: Luke 19:1-10, Genesis 18:1-10, Genesis 19:1-11

And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him,“Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.”
- Luke 19:5

We had just moved to a new Army post a few months earlier, and my husband was working long hours. It seemed my daughter or I were always sick – just enough to need to stay at home. When the one friend I’d made suggested playdates, I’d turn her down. I was tired, and my house wasn’t in a shape I’d deem “playdate ready.”

One morning I heard a knock on the door and there she was, coffee for us both in hand, her two kids rushing in. She was smiling sheepishly and said, “I don’t care if the house is a mess or if you have a cold – we missed you.” Her bold kindness has stuck with me for several years.

We are a culture that has put in place nearly impossible standards for our hosts and ourselves. Birthday parties must be perfect, dinners need to be Instagram-ready, even play dates have become themed.

What we’ve lost in the perfection is the comfort and companionship that comes with being with another person in their mess. It’s not about living in filth – it’s about making relationships more of a priority than the homes they take place in.

Guests are revered in the Bible. The angels that visited Lot in Genesis 19 were hidden inside as the men of the town yelled for them to be brought out. Lot attempts to protect his angelic guests by welcoming them at any cost.

In Luke 19, we see Zacchaeus, amid all his outward flaws, as the perfect host. No excuses, no rushing ahead to clean, no rescheduling. He climbed down and took Jesus to his home. Since he was able to focus on the blessing of Jesus asking to be his guest, he was also able to see the bigger picture in the invitation of salvation.

Hospitality is rarely convenient. We must be willing to interrupt the lives of others and be interrupted in our own to truly experience hospitality as Jesus practiced.

Jesus boldly asked to be a guest with Zacchaeus, knowing others would be shocked at Him spending time with such a man. He knew the message this would convey to Zacchaeus – “I care about you, I want to spend time with you.” How often do we do this with our friends? Someone in your life may need you to push the boundary a little before they let you into their home or heart.

Jesus and Zacchaeus offer the ideal setting for hospitality— bold asking, enthused acceptance. As we look at our relationships with others, where can we step into one of these roles and allow others to see our mess? Where can we take part in another’s real life? What are we missing out on if we are not willing to do both?

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  • Mary Elizabeth

    “Foxes have holes, birds of the air have nests, but the son of man has no where to lay his head.” – Jesus did not even have a home to offer on this earth, so he told us of the eternal home, where he has prepared a place for us. …interrupting the lives of others, even in the smallest way (like making too much noise), is hard for me. But Jesus leaned on the people around him! He asked for a place to stay. For help. So it isn’t wrong to ask for help, or to cause a wake in the lives of others. I find a lot of freedom in that.

  • “comparison is the thief of joy” regardless of what our homes look like, or what we look like, when we compare ourselves to others or what is seemingly perfect, we lose out on the chance to love on those we are called to!

  • learning to see people and their needs and mess and inviting them in or boldly inviting myself into it and not see as such an interruption. …Lord help me learn this more!

  • I’m so guilty of always wanting the picture perfect party for my guests after growing up with my amazing Mom who has the “Martha Stewart touch” on everything. But the reality is, God provided a perfect little studio in DC for me and I have been given the opportunity to allow this space to be a place where I can bless my friends with a meal, a cup of coffee, and a place filled with love. I want to always remind myself of how God provided my need for a home and the opportunity to serve others right within these four walls.

  • This is so good…Such a fresh perspective and daily encouragement.

  • This entire hospitality devotional, and this particular reading, comes at the exact time I found out a lot more family is visiting for the weekend than I expected! Thank you God for this timing that calms me from feeling overwhelmed. The important thing is visiting family, not having my home in perfect order.

  • Elizabeth

    In each instance God blessed the hospitality of the host

  • Elizabeth

    I have found that if you just step out and do what you know you should do, all the insecurities are overcome

  • I am enjoying this study so far, and I feel like Holy Spirit is trying to convict me of different things, but my mind is fighting back…. My prayer is that my heart will soften and open up to whatever it is that I need to be convicted of.
    I too always struggle with inviting people into my house. It is always a mess, especially now that I have a 9 months old son. I always feel like my home is not as clean and beautiful as others :(

    • Rebekah Davis

      Nadya, I understand where you are coming from. I often struggle as well with comparing myself to others. But someone once told me that “comparison is the thief of joy”. When we are focused on comparing ourselves then it becomes difficult to have joy in who God made us to be and where He purposefully has us in life. Praying for you that the Lord helps you to see yourself as He sees you, precious and lovely. And that the Holy Spirit affirms and encourages you in all the things you are doing right, like taking care of a sweet and busy 9 month old!

  • Zuri Ashanti' J.

    I’m late reading this post but it hit my heart something serious. I’ve recently been feeling torn between wanting to pour out all this love I have in me and wondering what people will think of me, or my apartment, or if anyone will even receive it or will it fall on deaf ears. I need to sit on this Word for a bit and let God work some fear out of me.

  • Shelby Brenegar

    I’m thinking of how this extends to other aspects of my life aside from inviting people over/being with people physically. Shortly before I read this, I called my brother needing him to help me with a problem. The whole time I was so concerned about fixing my issue that I failed to even ask him how he was doing. Turns out he had a hard conversation with someone this morning and was having a bad day. I was so wrapped up in myself and getting done what I needed to get done that I did not allow him to interrupt what I was doing to talk. I cared more about myself than about him. Really struck home for me.

  • This whole study has been so redeeming to me! We are in the process of having a young girl, a former student of mine, come stay with us so she can graduate high school. Selfishly, I’ve been worried how this will interrupt our lives even though I really believe God wants us to step in and help. Please pray that I can be stronger than my selfishness and truly make her feel welcome!

    • Donna

      I felt the same way when I took in a family that was homeless I wanted to help but I also worried about the disruption to our lives and even the mess but when you let God take control of everything, things work out better than you ever imagined. Yes, it’s a struggle sometimes but the blessing of helping someone in whatever context you can is by far the greatest thing you will ever experience. I pray that you see past the disruption and see that this is an opportunity to be Gods hands on earth.

  • I SO can relate to this idea of feeling my house needs to look perfectly straightened and freshly cleaned before inviting others. But then I started embracing “the lived in look”. It’s not dirty but not a museum either. You can tell people live in my home; can tell what we do. Guests can see a guitare out and know I was playing, they can see a DVD on the coffee table or see a blanket on the couch and know I was curled up in it recently. “It looks lived in and that is okay.” This is a new thought I’m trying to embrace, having been engraved in my head by my mother that guests require a not lived in look to the house. But I don’t want to be a Martha, worried about unnessariy things and miss out on building relationships. And hey! People can bond in the midst of mess and imperfection! Relationships and relateableness can be found when we see that everyone’s house looks lived in sometimes! It’s freeing, it’s almost fun, it’s benifical to embrace the lived in look.

  • God has really taught me this lesson as I lead a weekly young women/college aged Bible study in my home. With a toddler at home, the house isn't always "people ready" and I've learned to just accept it and show that to the girls. It's been freeing and also good for them to see what a real home looks like.

  • I don’t like visiting people…..neither do I like being visited. This is going to be hard for me…..but I know Christ will help me welcome the interruption…..Amen

  • I realized I need a bigger table ;) I loved this today!

  • unspeakablejoymccoy

    I had a friend randomly stop by the other day. We are a week out from moving. All of my normal clothes were in the wash. I had on mismatched clothes, my Fred Flintstone style slippers (they are ginormous but I wear them for the built in orthotics), and the house was a crazy scattered mess. My two year old took to peeling all of the wrappers off of every crayon we owned and threw them all over the floor. I felt embarrassed at first but then realized how silly it is that we as women feel we must make everything so perfect. I set a pot of coffee on and welcomed her in with open arms. If we are truly honest with ourselves, our homes cannot be perfect all of the time. We live in them. We get busy and things are sometimes messy. Hospitality is rarely convenient. Love it! Thanks SRT! http://unspeakablejoymovement.blogspot.com/2014/1

  • Kendall_S

    felt the Holy Spirit revealing to me in these three passages the various dimensions of hospitality….

    Zacchaeus showed it through his willingness to have a guest spontaneously at his home.

    Abraham demonstrated hospitality by his generous provision for the three men and his honor for them.

    Lot exemplifies courage and protection in his hospitality to the two angels.

    while no one shows perfect hospitality except for Jesus, i was excited today to have the reminder that each of us will use the gifts God has given us to meet the needs of those He places in our path. hospitality looks different among different people and among different needs. but collectively all three of these examples today give us a deeper understanding and also a challenge to look for ways that we can be spontaneous and willing to be interrupted, generous with our time and our possessions, and bold enough to protect those who are vulnerable.

    just a lot to mull over today from the scripture….

  • 5And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.

    I love the fact Jesus “saw” him. There are always those in a crowd who long to know Jesus but are not seen. The lonely person sitting by themselves at an event or the new visitor at church. May God give us a heart for those who are the unseen around us.

    • unspeakablejoymccoy

      I love what you said about asking God to give us a heart for those who are the unseen around us. Wow! Thank you for the challenge!

    • Rosemary Hernandez

      Amen!!!!!!

  • pickettje

    We must be willing to interrupt the lives of others and be interrupted in our own to truly experience hospitality as Jesus practiced.

    But interrupting seems so rude, so overbearing! But then when the Holy Spirit puts someone or a need on my heart, I shouldn't talk myself out of it. Challenged by this component, most definitely!

  • All I can say is WOW and yes , thank you for this!!

  • First let me say I loved this post! I need this in my own life and I need to be the person that goes into others lives in this way. But, I have to say when I read things like this there is a sinful part of me that knows I will turn this into a project to show off my good works. To find the person that needs loved on, love on them, just so that I can say I did, turn them into my project so I can feel good about it. How can we be intentional about being hospitable to others and fight that inner sinful pleasure off our list?

    • Bonnie

      I have done the same thing. Seeing this in ourselves is the first thing and then fighting that temptation. I think Satan would like us to stop doing good because our minds wander to pride. I say love people anyway and ask God to keep your motives pure. We will never serve the Lord perfectly but we are still called to obey. Good that you are willing to be honest with yourself on this. I’ve been contemplating this subject for years. Blessings!

  • I am new to this site. I love it and it is really convicting me where I am right now. This last year I have had many changes with friends, kids, and my husbands job. I am trying to get to the place where God's word is put into action…and what is funny is that all my devotionals and quiet times seem to be lining up right now. God is so good! I am always so concerned that if I put myself out there, my actions will be rejected. I too pray that I will see life's interruptions as divine opportunities to serve others and Christ. I need to be vulnerable.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Hi, Jen! Welcome to our community! So grateful you're here! Praying for you in all of your transition, friend. Love to you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Beth Warner

    This is great this morning. I say this as my 27 yr.old son moves back home. Haha, although I was sad the day he moved out, we got used to the extra room and closet space… We were able to go bed at a certain time and not be woke up when he came home late from work…etc. We are being interrupted, but so is he, and I wouldn’t have any other way. I think we really need him home with us right now,,,as I’ve said in my posts before, I’m going through cancer right now, and I think it’s good for him to see what I go through each day. I just want to show him, that with our wonderful loving awesome God, we CAN get through these battles. I want to show him the love of Jesus. Please pray with me ladies that my boys eyes/heart will come back to Jesus. Enjoy your day,xo.

    • Taime'

      Praying with you,Beth Warner that got will use your cancer as a means of grace. In your life, your husband”s but most especially your son’s! Thank you for posting!

  • Thanks, Diana! This reminded me why some of my long time friends are so important to me. One in particular that could care less what I or my house looks like. I also have friends that must be the perfect southern host or hostess. And you know that may not be stressful for them, maybe it is fun to be ‘Instagram’ perfect. At my time of life the only messes are made my husband and myself or the grands. So my perspective has changed with age. This study has helped me think through that and not be critical of all they do to be perfect hostesses. I need to be me and be a welcoming me.
    I too cringed at the passage from Lot’s tale but he was a man of God and like the story of Abraham and Issac God was in control. Lots of things in the Old Testament make me cringe. Covering the earth with water save for Noah’s crew, etc. But there is an order and control and it is His. I need to be, we all need to be more hospitable to our brothers and sisters, especially those walking in darkness.
    Forgive the ramble…

  • We live a ministry of hospitality here in the mission field, with our main outreach being out of our house. Last night, I planned to spend a couple of hours writing–working on some pretty important projects. But a family of 7 with little babies and a 9 year old with cancer showed up at my door. They needed to be fed. Beds needed to be made. One of my own little ones started running fever. By the time I got everyone settled for the night, the kitchen was a mess and my cursor blinked in the same exact place where it had been when I sat to write. But I felt satisfied knowing that receiving this family and caring for my own was the work HE intended for me. An open door, a ready table and a warm bed. This is the best I have to offer my brothers and sisters and He makes it enough. Saying "yes" even when it interrupts our plans brings its own rewards.

    • Cari Spaulding

      Way to go. I’m sure the love and kindness you showed will never be forgotten. I’m so glad you were able to prioritize correctly in this given circumstance, and show this family the love of Jesus that was needed in this situation!

  • Love this! Although I know it is true, it makes me squirm a little to think of “interrupting others’ lives.” I was always taught to be respectful of people’s time and space and was brought up in a very self-sufficient and independent manner. True hospitality sees beyond these issues of “etiquette” to true needs. I could certainly work to be more gracious about interruptions!

    • Kristen Hamilton

      I’m with you on interrupting others lives! I feel like it’s one of those things that is going to feel weird and awkward at first, but should be done!

  • Jackeline

    This was what I needed! Wow. I suffer from wanting perfection and feeling insecure about how we and my house look to others, so I don’t invite anyone over. I will repeatedly read this until it sinks in my heart, it’s about relationships & nothing else. Praise God!

    • SheReadsTruth

      Yes, Jackeline! I'm beyond thankful for the truth you shared!! Love to you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • It's incredible that the perfect example of true, genuine hospitality as it is meant to be is between Jesus and a tax collector, Zacchaeus.

  • Christina

    Okay, can I just say how perfectly timed this post is? I’m a college student who is also fairly new to the church I’ve been attending after leaving my past church of 6 years. I’m already a very shy and introverted girl so making new relationships at my new church has been tough. I give up so easily at the first sign of rejection (which comes a lot because college students always seem to have full unyielding schedules). Just yesterday I rearranged my day so I can spend a coffee date with two of my new friends. When I asked if we were still on for our meet up, neither of them replied. Ouch. I was feeling so defeated yesterday. I’m usually the one saying no to plans and making excuses as to why I can’t hang out. So this was a huge deal saying yes to coffee when they asked, only to be let down. I was ready to give up and live as a hobbit with my only relationships being with my family and my fiancé. But today’s post has conviction coming at me from every angle. I need to be more open to spontaneously love others and let them do the same for me. I can’t let a few rejections keep me from loving them. Where would I be if Jesus did the same in my life? If He just gave up on me after a few rejections? I thank God with all I have in me that He never stops loving me despite the rejection I throw His way every time I love myself more than Him. God please break me from my comfort zone and don’t let me take no for an answer. I want to be more like You.

    • Jenny Raymond

      Don’t give up! There will be times when plans fail, massively, but there are times when they work out and are huge blessings. Maybe refocus the times that are missed into opportunities to spend in prayer for those friends and those who God would have you reach out to? God never misses a meet up.

      • Christina

        Thank you for the encouragement. I really appreciate it. I also love your idea of praying for those friends. I could always use a reason to pray more.

  • Kim Snyder

    I think we get so worked up that hospitality has to be something “Grand, Big, Over the Top” and really its just saying, ” Hello sit for a minute.” Or just saying “Hello or give a hug”. And not just a one time thing but All the time thing.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Wonderfully put, Kim! Thanks for sharing your heart with us today!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • KatSmith1026

    Sisters, I love reading through your comments, even though I don't always participate and comment on my own. This morning as I was reading through the passages in Genesis it reminded me of another verse:

    • KatSmith1026

      It would be helpful if I finish the post before I submit!

      Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. || Hebrews 13:2

      Praying blessings over the middle of your week, dear sisters.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Love this, Kat! Thanks for sharing! Blessings to you today!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Elizabeth

    I just love how true hospitality isn't about where it takes place, but with who it takes place with! Before this study, I've never thought of these examples of hospitality in the Bible. Very inspiring too reach out to friends (or strangers!) and invite them over. :)

    • SheReadsTruth

      So true, Elizabeth! I love that, too!! So glad you joined us today!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Stacy Adame

    Such a great message today. We have it so backwards in today’s society. Many times we put our house cleaning not just above friends and neighbors, but above our own families. Something else that struck me, is in today’s world, if a guest stops by, we could easily order a quick meal or just go to the fridge and pull something out. In Abrahams day it wasn’t so easy to throw a meal together, but it was his first thought. We need to stop seeing people and even family as an inconvenience and start enjoying others, welcome the interruption!

  • In a previous church home, we had cell groups who met in homes once per week. It consisted of all ages of couples (about 8 altogether + children). When we 1st began, I worked my hardest to have everything Pinterest perfect,meal included. Then one night my house was in disarray & I only I had time to make chicken & dumplings & cornbread . . . and Mark one of the children at the end of the night said, this has been the best night ever and my favorite food. Out of the mouth of babes. If our homes and meals are always "Instagram" ready, then we are not only limiting our home to people, we are limiting our time in their homes. If they can't measure up to ours, then most likely they will not feel comfortable bringing us to their homes. What a great eye opening study this has been.

  • Hmm…I’m totally the person who worries about my house and this and that. I would be freaked out at first, but so unbelievably grateful if someone showed up kids in tow and coffee at hand to simply say they don’t care how the house looks, but they’ve missed me. That is a level of boldness that I would love to obtain.

  • This is a great reminder of being sensitive to the needs of others. I’m good at this unfortunately only on occasion. I too often get caught in my own responsibilities that I don’t extend myself enough. It’s convicting. And just last night I was working through and exercise on creating a life plan (I am blogging about this journey for the next few weeks actually…). I was asked to fast forward to the end of my life and writer what I wanted people to say about me. And I wrote that I want my children to say I reached out beyond myself to help and encourage others, but disappointingly the reality is I don’t structure my time and priorities on a daily basis to make that happen. My husband is actually much better at this than I am! He, his mom and his sister are perhaps some of the most hospitable folks I know! I have a lot to learn!

  • hopingtobehospitable

    Hospitality is a relationship-the relationship between guest and host…at least, that is the Wikipedia definition. And if my relationship with someone improves or falters due to unfolded laundry or a messy living room, then my guest and I should have a heart to heart. However, in reading this, I did realize a few things. I like to have many acquaintances-to know many but few deep and well. I pray to find friends who will push past my defenses and get to the business of true friendship, true relationship.

  • drshanwalks

    I am loving this study! Today's devotion reminded me of a friend who we "interrupted" last week. She was home sick and my godsister decided to make her soup. This friend is quick to do things for others, but has a hard time letting others do for her. My godsister insisted that we take a care package to her. We didn't want to visit, but just to drop it off. I spent my drive home from work arguing with her to accept the care package. I finally said to her, "They (Crystal and my mom. Who can say no to a mom? Lol) are not taking no for an answer and besides, I have a key." She accepted the care package and later posted how loved she felt.

    Some of us have been so accustomed to feeling let down because others fail to step up and help us in the manner we help others that we stop expecting it or even wanting it. It is easier to just do for others and expect nothing in return than to be let down. I am guilty of this! It is hard for me to accept someone's hospitality because I have been let down so many times. I am convicted today to allow hospitality interruptions in my life.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Thank you so much for sharing this story, sister! It was just the encouragement I needed. We love having you here!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

    • unspeakablejoymccoy

      Oh wow! Accepting help is something I struggle with, just like your friend. Part of it comes from worrying others view me as weak. I gave birth to twins last year (and I have four others at home). I have slowly learned that it's okay to let others help. They want to help! Thanks for sharing! Blessings, Carrie

  • Michelle

    Am I the only one who cringed and cannot get over that Lot would give his innocent daughters over to a bunch of blood-thirsty men to do what they want with them?! This whole message was lost on me because of that one scripture that was chosen. Granted, I've never read that entire story, but if they were angels, than surely they could've protected themselves without the need of innocence to be lost. I know that the men didn't take up Lot on his offer (thank the good Lord) but still… this was too disturbing to me to then think about hospitality.

    • Pam

      Michelle, yes that part is disturbing but I always thought Lot knew females were not what those men were looking for- I think he was hoping that after they saw the sincerity of his wanting to protect the angels –they would stop asking for them and leave. God protected Lot because he was a good man so we have to believe his heart was in the right place. I guess my take away is that if we are in His will and if our motives are right- He will fight our battles for us and protect us from our enemies and ourselves! :-)

    • Jenny Raymond

      It’s a horrible verse that just doesn’t make sense to us in this time. I went through commentaries this morning for the same reason, and was most satisfied with the brevity and stance of the Holman:
      “Ancient Asian hospitality customs made Lot responsible for his visitors’ safety while under the protection of his roof no matter what the cost. Accordingly, he put himself at risk by facing the mob and warning them that their intentions were evil . Failing in his appeal to their higher moral instincts, Lot then put his family at risk, offering up his two virgin daughters to satisfy the rabble’s sexual desires. Lot’s daughters would soon get even with their father for his repulsive offer by making him a victim of disgusting sexual misconduct ( vv. 32- 36 ).”
      It is pretty unspeakable, and it places guests over family, and men over women, but in the end it amounted to little because the girls were not enticing to the mob, at all. It’s one of those verses that really needs a grasp of that society and its norms, not that they are okay, but that they are different. The mob was even massively offended at the offer and set to do Lot bodily harm. The angels then put a stop to the whole situation.
      It is important to remember that the Bible doesn’t suggest that offering your virgin daughters to a mob bent on rape is an okay or even good thing to do; so often it is what I hear being taken away from it – and it doesn’t hold water.

    • Emily

      I agree, so disturbing. But i also love that about the Bible – that it is obviously such a true story that even the parts that show the horrifying, scummy parts of humanity are included. Only a true story could have such an awful reality. And on that note, I don't think that means that God would at ALL condone what Lot did. It was a cowardly move on his part to appease a mob that he should have just told to take a hike. But Lot was never the most moral character anyway (something that could probably be said about a lot of characters in the Bible!)

    • shereadstruth

      Michelle, you are not the only one that cringes at that verse – I would hope we all do!! These notes from Matthew Henry's commentary might help. He points out that Lot is doing the right thing by welcoming the strangers, but that this particular action with his daughters was "unjustified" and "unadvised." The commentary says, "It is true, of two evils we must choose the less; but of two sins we must choose neither, nor ever do evil that good may come of it." I think it's super important to point out that Lot is not being held up as the standard of hospitality here — Jesus is the standard! This passage shows the gravity and importance of hospitality in biblical times, and that Lot regarded the angels with honor. Hope this helps. So much of the Bible requires context for full understanding. You aren't the only on who struggles in that regard! (Me too!) xo, Amanda

  • This study has been such an eye opener, and today really hit home. I will be having a birthday party for my boys at our home this Friday and I have been so stressed trying to get all the cleaning and organizing done so my home will be ready for everyone. I even tried to talk my boys into having it somewhere else but they were set on having it here. After today's lesson I think I will just focus on the party itself and let the kids have a good time. Stop worrying about what people will think if my house isn't spotless or well decorated.

    Thank you Jesus for opening my eyes though out this study so far. I pray today that I can move up to what has been shown to me and apply it to my life. I want to show your love to everyone I meet. Thank you for loving me… Amen

  • LaurieEW

    We just joined a life group from our church. We all take turns hosting. Last month we were put on the schedule for November. I'm also starting a new job, just found out on Monday I start next week, and next week is also our date to host our first life group. God has a sense of humor, doesn't he? I must confess,I'm a little stressed.
    Thanks for this study.
    Help m e Jesus to be a doer of the Word not just a hearer.

    • SheReadsTruth

      Praying for you, friend! Trusting that God's timing is perfect and that He has incredible things up His sleeve for your time with your life group!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • stinav96

    Oh my! I want to be the bold friend who just shows up! I want to be the humble friend who invites the spontaneous visitor into my living room with a box of clothes given for my toddler in the recliner, blankets, toys and children's books on the floor (along with the crumbs and such that reside under those blankets, toys and books, that somehow find their way right back to the floor after I've picked them up 20 times in a day!) And that is just the living room! I tend to be such a people pleaser that I don't boldly look for what is best for others. I just go along with what they want (i.e., not to be bothered/inconvenienced/imposed upon in their home). So, so, so many ways to show hospitality to people from this study! Is there any way we can get a recap at the end of the main point of each day? I just think it would be so great to have "the point" all in one spot? Actually, I am probably going to go back to each day and write down the ways God has shown me I need to be hospitable, now that I've found my journal. Oh…. and while I'm in the confessional frame of mind…. my journal was on the kitchen table, under piles of papers and packages. Lord, help me if someone comes to my door! Help me to let them in! In Jesus' Name.

  • Totally need to be better – more purposeful – about this. Fabulous, wise words. Thanks so much, Diana!

  • Each day this study reminds me that hospitality is all about my heart, and not my perfectly set dining room table, or new recipes, or even my business. I never want to "impose" on anyone, and would never be brave enough to pop-in on someone, and potentially interrupt their day/life. But I just know that I am missing out. On friendship. On love. Holy Spirit, please help be to be vulnerable. To have the courage to interrupt. And to welcome any interruptions that may come my way.

  • cricketbutler

    I can honestly say this is an area in my life that I need a lot of work. Preoccupation with my own life creeps around every corner. Finishing that lesson plan at work, grading that set of papers, carpools, bedtime routines for my daughter, finally sitting down to talk to my husband, cleaning, sleep, repeat… I have never been one to embrace interruptions gracefully.

    Today's scripture & devotional convicts my heart. It reminds me that while biblical hospitality sometimes requires a quiet act of kindness, other times it requires bold kindness. But whatever the type of kindness, it most of the time is inconvenient. God places interruptions in our lives as opportunities to glorify Him. He places them in our lives as a way to say "Hey, Cricket! Stop your preoccupation with your own life to see others in their mess! Go meet their needs!"

    I pray that I will see interruptions as Divine opportunities to serve others. I pray that I begin to embrace biblical hospitality as a lifestyle, not an event. That I can slow down in my own messy, fast-paced, self-focused life to see the needs of others as opportunities to glorify God. Help me Lord to meet people in their mess and to live out loud Christ's love. Amen.

  • TheresaMMeacham

    I love that… "hospitality is rarely convenient…" Too often I associate hospitality with a perfectly planned dinner or prepping the guest room sheets. I forget that hospitality is a mindset to be lived out every day. It's more about allowing myself to be open to others, regardless of whether it "fits" in my schedule or not. Thank you for the beautiful challenge and ever applicable reminder that hospitality isn't engaged in only when I have guests to the home. It's more about making room for others in my heart!
    Blessings to all of you today, ladies!!

  • There is so much in each day of this study that I almost need a week to process it before moving onto the next! Happy to be getting back into morning Bible study on my commute now the Android app is here. (Though today it wouldn’t let me comment… I’ve had to come to the website)

    I used to be so much better at hospitality, but pressures of “growing up” sent me more and more inward and everything so much planned! Thank you for the reminder that spontaneous can be good too, and that hospitality doesn’t have to take place in my own home (really good to remember now a lot of my friends have kids and it’s much easier for me to visit them than vice versa)

    • SheReadsTruth

      Hi Becca!

      So thankful you're able to join us on your commute! (Did you email [email protected] about the comment issue? We absolutely want you to be able to comment!!)

      Grateful for you and your heart!

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

  • Good Good Morning…

    Hospitality is rarely convenient. We must be willing to interrupt the lives of others and be interrupted in our own …..

    I have a habit, that may make some of you cringe….and perhaps even thank God we live oceans apart…lol…When and if I am going somewhere, an appointment, a date, planned trip…I always, more often than not, if I am in a place that I know a friend lives, I will turn up unannounced, saying I was in the neighbourhood, and that I appreciate that it might not be a suitable time, but that I couldn't be in their neck of the woods, and not stop by…for a cuppa, a hug, or just to see that they are okay…. if its not convenient, I will settle for a hug, and be on my way. …My thinking is that a visit sometimes takes planning, …dates and times that don't coincide,…excuses…and sometimes it takes forever to get to see a friend…..I had to go to the bank yesterday, and had to put money in the meter…I only put enough for 30 mins as I was hoping on the queues being none existent….it was was empty, did my business in 5 mins which meant I had 25 mins left, so, I looked in on friend, who worked nearby, didn't stop for tea ,just had a hug, a qui k chat, caught up on her news, had a couple of laughs, made plans to definitely get together, had another hug, and I was gone….sometimes, I think we can get so caught up in our lives, before we know it….months have gone by…and we haven't seen our regular friends…family…okay, this may not be a proper visit, but you know what….I think, and I know I left their smiling, and a little joyful at having seen my friend…I heard her begin to tell her colleague, as I left, what a lovely surprise….a little something, but it goes a long way….
    Diane, I love your friends bold kindness, praise God for coffee…huh..! .Seriously though, I have walked down the road in my pj s, because a neighbour has called in need, I have popped into a supermarket to pick up medicines for the kids, with rollers in my hair, before now,…Interruptions are necessary in life sometimes…and we must definitely be welcoming of them…
    Lord, thank you for interruptions, thank you for the opportunity for our days to be 'disturbed' in love, for love , with love Lord God…Thank you Lord ..

    Just to end with something I hope will make you smile…I have a friend who is very professional, and has been married for 20 plus years…she has never had time for having children, they would get in the ways of the career…so for 20 plus years…she has not 'interrupted' her life to accommodate a little person …. well guess what, aged 46, interruption found her, a year ago, she had a baby girl….. and do you know what she said to me the other day…'If I have d known this was how I would feel I would have done it sooner….' interruptions can be life changers, eye openers, to what is truly and really important..
    Blessings Sisters, blessings…xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx…

    • Becca

      Tina, I would love for you to be my friend! Nothing makes me more happy than those spontaneous, "I was just passing through" moments. Sounds like you are a blessing to very many people.

    • Candacejo

      Love the story of your friend and her unexpected surprise! God knows just what we need…. Love to you, Tina! ♥

  • I needed this right now! i'm supposed to be hosting a prayer meeting for the first time at my house tomorrow but because the house (it's a shared student house we rent) is such a tip – just so dirty and messy – I was so tempted to rearrange and have the meeting at someone else's house. Reading this has reminded me that, actually, Jesus is so much more than our surroundings and there's no need for me to be ashamed of my house. Yes, I will try to clean and tidy up tomorrow as much as possible, but at the end of the day, having four walls and a roof above my head is ample. And it's even greater to share that with friends in prayer. Thank you!

    • Annie

      I love to entertain and have people in my home. But, like you Harriet, I feel the pressure to make everything "perfect" and for my house to look photo shoot ready. Our family moves a lot and I tend to dislike being "interrupted" until I feel my home is adequately "ready"- not liking people to see my mess. I needed to be reminded of the message today as well. We have just moved to a new home (and country!) and our things arrived a few weeks ago. My house (not to mention my life!lol) is in a chaotic state right now and, although I have been wanting to invite some of my children's new school friends over (who are also new to the school and neighborhood) with their parents, I have been putting it off, telling myself that our home isn't "entertaining ready". The message today made me realize I am missing out on the opportunity not only to forge relationships but to allow Jesus to use these new relationships to affect all of our lives. It hit me that I need to open up our home – and our lives – to the plans that He has for us in this new place. What am I waiting for?

    • Tammy

      Your words hit home. Just last night I declined to offer my home for a meeting in December because all I could think about was all I would need to do to it to "make it ready" for my guests. If I had been up in that tree instead of Zacchaues I would have missed out on time with Jesus. "Lord take off the blinders that prevent me from seeing what is really important, your people!"

    • Michelle Cullen

      so true! I hope your prayer meeting goes well!

    • SheReadsTruth

      Harriet, so glad you're joining us today! Praying for your prayer meeting and expecting great things from God for your group! :)

      xoxo-Kaitlin for She Reads Truth

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