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Show Hospitality to One Another ~ Romans 12:1-2, 10, 13; 1 Peter 4:8-10 August 11, 2013 ~ New City

Church Calgary ~ Pastor John Ferguson Intro: In his book, Starbucked, Taylor Clark explains part of the franchises rise to global prominence. He tells us that Starbucks own researched showed that what people really want is a cozy social atmosphere above all else For those seeking a refuge from the world, the cup of coffee they bought was just the price of admission. As one observer noted, Starbucks is selling hospitality (Tim Chester). But what if hospitality was something that we didnt have to buy, but could simply receive and experience? Moreover, what if showing hospitality to others is actually a key ingredient that we are missing in our lives?

Over the months of July & Aug at NCC, weve taken a break from our study in the Gospel of Luke and have been looking at what the Scriptures teach about the kind of community that the Gospel of Jesus Christ creates. One of the reasons God calls his people to gather together is so that they might display what life would look like if everyone lived under the kind rule of the Lord Jesus Christ.

So weve been looking at the essential issue of one- another-ing one another. Be devoted to one another Love one another Serve one another Encourage one another Pray for one another Welcome one another

This week, well take it one step further as we look at the lost art of showing Christian hospitality to one another. We dont mean what goes for hospitality today, i.e., performance hospitality where people try to impress others with their cooking skills or decorating skills. One the contrary, Christian hospitality is simply the way to concretely flesh out Life Together as we seek to love, serve, encourage, pray for and welcome one another into our lives.

Text: Romans 12 & 1 Peter 4 Show Hospitality to One Another

Romans 12 1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Chs. 1-11, Paul has outlined the great salvation that Christ has secured for his people. From the valleys of humanitys moral guilt before God to the climatic sacrifice of Christ on the Cross that allows us to be justified & reconciled with God to the stunning mountain vistas of Gods electing love before the foundation of the world, the salvation secured by Christ for his people is absolutely nothing short of amazing. 1

If God did all this for us in Christin view of Gods mercythen what can we do other than offer ourselves to him.

2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. TM, Do not let the world squeeze you into its mold. Renew our minds with the truth of Gods self -revelation in the Scriptures. Those who have embraced the salvation that God offers have new desires to live according to the will of God. And so the Apostle Paul shows us what our lives should look like under the Lordship of Christ through a number of directives.

10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Christianity introduces us to a new family where God becomes our Heavenly Father, and other believers become our brothers and sisters. A new family code of conduct defines our life together: one -anothering

13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. seek to show = lit. to strive after / to pursue NIV: Practice hospitality. NLT: Always be eager to show hospitality. Geneva: giving yourself to hospitality.

1 Peter 4 8 Above all, keep loving one another, earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Above all = highlights the importance and priority of this central teaching o John 13:34, Love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. o Earnestly = Striving Alexander Strauch, The Hospitality Commands, There is nothing in this world like selfsacrificing, genuine, Christian love to encourage, inspire, comfort, and build others up. But how, in practical, down-to-earth terms, do we show more genuine, Christian love and community? One clear answer is hospitality.

9 Show hospitality to one another.

Tim Chester, A Meal With Jesus, Hospitality involves welcoming, creating space, listening, paying attention, and providing. Meals slow things down. Some of us dont like that. We like to get things done. But meals force you to be people oriented instead of task oriented. Sharing a meal is not the only way to build relationships, but it is number one on the list.

Main Idea: The practical, tangible way that we love one another is by showing hospitality to one another. An open home is a sign of an open heart. I love NCC. Next month well be three years old!!! There are many things we do well; but if there is one area that we need to grow by leaps and bounds, I believe it is in this area of showing hospitality to one another. A. Strauch, I dont think most Christians today understand how essential hospitality is to fanning the flames of love and strengthening the Christian family. Hospitality fleshes out love in a uniquely personal and sacrificial way. Through the ministry of hospitality, we share our most prized possessions. We share our family, home, finances, food, privacy, and time. Indeed, we share our very lives. So, hospitality is always costly. Through the ministry of hospitality, we provide friendship, acceptance, fellowship, refreshment, comfort, and love in one of the richest and deepest ways possible for humans to understand. Unless we open the doors of our homes to one another, the reality of the local church as a close-knit family of loving brothers and sisters is only a theory.

Application: 1. Kill the excuses. Some of you show hospitality well. Let me encourage you to continue being a blessing. o But most of us can far too easily and conveniently make excuses. Carl F.H. Henry, Christian hospitality is a matter of obedience to God. o This call of showing hospitality to one another is the normal Christian life. This is Christian Life Together 101. Either this is something we say yes to, or it is something we say no to. o We cannot love one another well if our doors are closed to each other. o If you want to keep your door closed, then NCC is not the place for you because we are learning what it means to be a close-knit family. 2. Offer your home to God.

How can I use my home (my apartment) as an extension of myself as I seek to welcome others into my life? God, thank you for my home. How can I use it in tangible ways to show love to the people that you have died for? How can I use it to concretely bless my brothers and sisters in Christ?

3. Pursue hospitality intentionally. Heb 13:2, Do not neglect to show hospitality. There are so many things pulling our lives apart from one another in a place like Calgary that we need to intentionally pull our lives together.

Intentionally make plans for this. o Maybe you could start inviting someone over 1x per month. Or consider using Sundays as time that you intentionally set aside for the practice of hospitality. o The example of a family who decided to invite every person in their church over to dinner in one year. By the end, they knew everyone and had a number of close friends. o Or, do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.

4. Expand your horizons. Its natural to start with others you think you have a natural affinity with. Luke 14:12-14, He said also to the man who had invited him, When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.

Conclusion: What if we dont do this? Could it be that you are missing out on a huge blessing by neglecting to show hospitality to one another? What joys of friendship are we missing? How does the lack of hospitality affect NCC? How does the fact that we know each other so little effect mission?