- the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers
- the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.
The other thing about hospitality in this text that I didn't really think about till today, is the text says, "Do not neglect to show hospitality to" whom? Your friends? Nope! To strangers. I know that might be uncomfortable for some- it is for me. But that is one of the "sacrifices pleasing to God". Of course it is fun to have friends over- but are you neglecting to invite strangers into your home? I'm not talking about the guy that's passing down the street that you spontaneously go over to and say, "Hey, my house, 5 o'clock." I'm talking about people in your church, your workplace, your community that you don't know... yet. Have no idea who to invite? Ask God. Maybe He has a plan to use you in someone's life. Maybe He just wants you to take this verse seriously. So, who's on your "to have over" list?
Second, I want to address verse 5. "Keep your life free from the love of money and be content with what you have." This is the sacrifice pleasing to God that I think I struggle with most, although I have come a long way. My parents used to tell me that I would have to marry a man with money to accomplish all the things I wanted in life. Did I tell you my husband artificially inseminates cows? Yeah, not exactly a 6 digit income. However, I am completely okay with that. Let me rephrase: I am completely content with that. A few years ago, I still had many dreams and things I wanted in life. I loved diamonds (still do), but then I wanted many of them, I wanted a big house that I designed, loved BMW's, love classy attire, had a desire to be a successful business woman of some sort- roll with the big ones. It was hard for me to see my friends have all this "stuff" and me being without. Now granted the friends that had plenty were also 10-20 years older than me and had much longer to save and buy things. But the point was- I just wanted to have much, and look like I had plenty. Although I know the saying, "money can't buy happiness", I didn't believe it. I didn't believe that Jesus was enough. But I honestly can say I do now. I still like nice things, and I'm sure most woman could say they love diamonds, but I have had a heart change. As I type this, I cry, because I am so grateful to Jesus for this change in my heart. It was one of the deepest idols in my life. I would have never been happy. My husband would have never have felt like a man who could provide for his family, because his wife would always want things he couldn't afford. I truthfully don't want diamonds, a fancy car, a lavished home or the classy attire anymore. All of it was me trying to fit in with the world- and not just any of the world- but the people who love money more than they love Jesus. I don't wanna be that woman! I want Jesus to be my everything- for He is all I need. Through my relationship with Him, I have become much more content with what I have, and I have surrendered my worldly dreams to Him. I'm not saying I never struggle, because I do. The Bible doesn't say that life is free of struggles. But it does ask in this verse for your life to be free from the love of money. In fact, Matthew 6: 24, Jesus says: "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money." What master do you serve?