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Hospitality Defined

Read: Acts 2:37-47

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship. (v. 42)

While we may not hear much these days about hospitality, we certainly hear about “entertaining.” Home magazines and make-over shows emphasize all the things that will impress your guests when you entertain: big, bright spaces, unique recipes, and fabulous food. The whole emphasis seems to be showing off our good taste and lifestyle to impress family and friends.

But hospitality is not entertaining, showing off, or impressing people; it’s about welcoming others into our homes and lives. Hospitality is a practical way to demonstrate love to others in service to God in big and small ways.

Acts 2 shows us how the early church practiced hospitality. After the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, the believers “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship” (v. 42). They were in each other’s homes, praying and sharing meals together. They gave generously to help any brother or sister in need with “glad and generous hearts” (v. 46). Even those outside of the church approved as the new church found “favor with all the people” (v. 47).

As we’ll see in coming days, hospitality is a Christian virtue, and it’s expected of God’s people. It provides for the needy, brings fellowship to the lonely, and equips God’s people for service. In its own way, it anticipates the joys of heaven here on earth. What a privilege! —Laura N. Sweet

As you pray, ask God to give you a heart for hospitality.

Series NavigationHospitality: An Old Testament Example >>

About the Author

Laura N. Sweet is a wife, mother, grandmother, and former Christian schoolteacher from Midland, Michigan. She writes devotional material for both adults and children, and her work has appeared in more than a dozen publications.

This entry is part 1 of 14 in the series Christian Hospitality