Day 68: Practicing Hospitality Among the Saints
1. Center Down
Our breath prayer: As you inhale, whisper, “Let us break bread together…” As you exhale whisper, “…in Your Presence.”
2. Slowly read aloud the following Scripture
And [the Church] devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47, ESV)
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:9, ESV)
For further exploration:
3. Kingdom Prayer
Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your eternal love and unmerited grace. We thank You for Your love for us that never ceases and Your mercy which never comes to an end. Your mercies are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Thank You, Father, for being our strength, our shield, our provider and our Savior. You are great and You do wondrous things. You are God alone. Lord, You are in Your Holy temple; You are on Your heavenly throne. To You, O God do we give thanks. Yes, to You do we give thanks. We extol You, our God, O King, and we bless Your Name forever and ever.
Righteous Father, as Kingdom citizens, it is Your will that we excel in the area of our finances. We recognize that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Therefore, we will earn, save, spend and invest money in obedience to Your perfect plan for our lives and our families. We confess that as You bring financial blessings into our lives, we will remember that it is You who gives us the power to get wealth so that the covenant which You swore to our fathers will be established and we will be positioned as instruments to build Your Kingdom.
Father, we decree that all that we set our hands to do is blessed because You have commanded blessings on our storehouses, including savings, investments and retirement accounts. Lord, as Your blessings overtake us, we will be able to lend money to many and not have to borrow from anyone. We confess that as we bring our tithes and offerings into Your house, we are expecting You to pour out blessings that we will not have room to receive and You will rebuke the devourer for our sakes. Lord, because we will be faithful stewards of Your financial blessings, we expect You to confirm Your Word and make us rulers over abundant wealth.
Holy Spirit, show me what I need to do so that I can be a better steward of the resources I have been blessed with:
Holy Spirit, we ask that You shift our focus from spending to saving and from consuming our income to building wealth. Help the members of the Body of Christ to bind mercy and truth around our necks and write them on our hearts; causing us to have favor in Your sight and in the sight of man. Lord, help us to study Your Word, to meditate on it day and night and observe to do the things written within it so that we may make our way prosperous and have good success. Holy Spirit, help us to build business and personal relationships with other Christians. Help us to begin to love people and use money rather than loving money and using people. We pray for a breaking of old mindsets and generational curses of poverty and lack within the families in the Body of Christ.
Forgiving Father, forgive us for our sins. Forgive us for repeating patterns of financial failures such as living beyond our means and misusing credit cards. Forgive those in the Body of Christ and our communities for our heavy dependence on payday loan outlets and pawn shops. Forgive us for failing to develop financial plans that include debt reduction, savings and investments. Father, forgive us for walking by sight rather than walking in faith. Forgive many of us for entertaining thoughts that we are supposed to have the most of the worst and the least of the best. Forgive those in our congregation who have refused to make court-ordered child support payments. Lord, forgive me for (list any sins that you have committed).
Holy Spirit, remind us all of those we need to forgive and help us to be quick to forgive. (Take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal names or faces of people that you may need to forgive. As He reveals them, say, “I forgive name of person(s).” Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in your soul caused by unforgiveness.)
Holy Spirit, help us all not to yield to temptation but deliver us from the evil one.
Yours, Almighty God, is the power and the glory. Yours, O Lord, is the victory and the majesty. All that is in heaven and earth is Yours. Yours is the Kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
4. Concepts to Consider
As we are discovering, Biblical hospitality is inextricably linked to the Gospel. Jesus is both guest and host. God has shown us His gracious hospitality and we are called to go and do likewise. It is a primary mode of evangelism as well as an indicator of our life in Christ.
In the Acts and Galatians passages above we see the emphasis on the “household of faith.” Yes, our call is to “go into all the world” (Mark 16:15), but we must also keep a clear eye on what’s happening in the church and to responsibly meet the needs of those “in the house,” as well as those “outside the house.” Torah based hospitality is not a hand-out, nor does it encourage codependency. Torah-based hospitality offers a safe space and a launching pad for healing and ministry, not a place to perpetually “free-load.”
For the earliest church, one of the most effective means of bringing others into a life in Christ was the obvious hospitality that the saints showed one another. When people outside the church saw how the saints loved one another and took care of one another, they said, “Wow, I want some of that!”
As we stated in day 65 above, even Holy Communion/The Lord’s Supper mediates and demonstrates hospitality between God and us through Messiah Jesus enlivened by His Spirit.
Optional Time of Centering/Soaking:
If possible, take some time, perhaps 5 to 15 minutes, to get into a comfortable position and simply allow the Lord to minister to you at a deep level (Psalm 42:7). Turn off or put down all distractions. Close your eyes. Hold in your thoughts a meaningful word, phrase, or image from the Scripture you read today. Release all other thoughts and concerns into the Presence of the Lord. If your thoughts wander, that’s okay, just gently return to your Scriptural word, phrase, or image.
You may want to set a timer.