Day #12 Live with a Mission: Proclaim
Read 1 Peter 4:7-11
A friend of mine once told me that when he moved into a new house as a kid that he tied all of his best toys on the back of his bicycle and rode around the neighborhood trying to attract friends. If you’ve started a new job or moved into a new community, you’ve probably learned from experience that people usually don’t come knocking on your door to get to know you (although I doubt you have gone to the lengths that my friend went to attract friends!)
Inviting others into our lives can be as difficult now as it was when we were the new kid on the block. So how do we seek to love our physical neighbors as ourselves when we barely know them and when we don’t have much of a relationship with them? One way the Bible encourages us as Christians to love our neighbors is to practice hospitality.
The Oxford American Dictionary defines hospitality as “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.” In scripture, we’re commanded to show hospitality to others– to both the Christian (Romans 12:13) and the stranger (Hebrews 13:2). Jesus is our great example, in the gospel of Luke alone we see nine different instances where Jesus shared a meal with others. And it wasn’t just with his friends— Jesus even shared meals with tax collectors and sinners- not exactly the “polite” company of his day.
If we want to “live with a mission”, it’s important for us to invite people into our lives and not wait for them to initiate with us. In doing so, we’re demonstrating the same kind of love that God showed to us by drawing near to us before we reached out to him. God showed us hospitality by inviting us into his family.
We’ve rarely been turned down by a neighbor when we invited them over for a meal or dessert. People seem eager to know their neighbors, but seldom know where to start themselves. When we invite others into our space by giving them time and care its amazing how much easier it is to insert the message of the gospel into conversations. Since those we don’t know very well are so rarely shown hospitality in our culture, in doing so we are helping people to lower the barriers to being able to engage in meaningful conversation about life.
Live with a Mission Today: Make a list of three neighbors or co-workers that you don’t know very well. Pray about which one you can invite over first for a meal or dessert at your house within the next month.