Devoted to Each Other
“Be hospitable to one another” (1Peter 4:9). They were sharing their time, possessions, and life with each other. Is this not the ideal community Jesus is building? “And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart” (Acts 2:44-46).
What is wrong with a person who habitually says “no” to getting together? What is separating us? Is it the sin of not loving my neighbor as myself? My wife and I found a note one time, written from a young lady who eventually fell away from God. She had written with more honesty than many christians care to admit, “I LOVE GOD, BUT I HATE HIS FAN CLUB”. This is honest ugliness. I just wish she would have identified more exactly what she hates. God hates what people do at times, but loves them. If you stop and think about it, you have been practicing this for years and years, but you don’t realize it. There is at least one person you “hate what they do”, but love them anyways. You. That’s right, “you”. You have hated what you have done (at times), but you still love yourself. But more than that, you give yourself grace, that in the future you will do better. So why not give them some grace too? But be careful here, you might end up even liking yourself… again. The moment you begin to love them, forgive them, (even though you hate what they do at times), you will experience an unexpected joy that the early church had when they practiced the same thing. It’s worth repeating, “they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart” (Acts 2:46). Even Abraham Lincoln said one time, “I don't like that man. I must get to know him better.” This is a powerful quote, not because Abraham Lincoln said it, but because it is true. So when you are invited over to enjoy some hospitality say yes and follow through. Enjoy yourself with the brethren. Jesus loved people, spent time with people, they are worth it. At this point, you will want to reciprocate. That’s right, start having others over to your place too.
Jesus will take this personally. “He who receives you receives Me” (Mat. 10:40). When you have someone over, Jesus feels like he too has been invited. I love just a small group over, it’s more personal time. I also love a potluck where we all get together. I love going to a restaurant and have others serve us while we have more time talk and enjoy ourselves without doing the dishes! Lol! Let’s be devoted to one another. Dan Peters