Day 66: Cultivating a Posture of Hospitality
1. Center Down
Our breath prayer for today: As you inhale, whisper,
“We welcome You, O Lord…” As you exhale, whisper, “…into our lives.”
2. Slowly read aloud the following Scripture
God appeared to Abraham at the Oaks of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent. It was the hottest part of the day. He looked up and saw three Men standing. He ran from his tent to greet Them and bowed before Them.
He said, “Master, if it please You, stop for a while with Your servant. I’ll get some water so You can wash Your feet. Rest under this tree. I’ll get some food to refresh You on Your way, since Your travels have brought You across my path.”
They said, “Certainly. Go ahead.”
Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. He said, “Hurry. Get three cups of our best flour; knead it and make bread.”
Then Abraham ran to the cattle pen and picked out a nice plump calf and gave it to the servant who lost no time getting it ready. Then he got curds and milk, brought them with the calf that had been roasted, set the meal before the Men, and stood there under the tree while They ate. (Genesis 18:1-7, MSG)
For further exploration:
3. Kingdom Prayer
Heavenly Father, we thank You for being our provider. Thank You for giving us Your Word on how to make our way prosperous and successful. Father, thank You for surrounding us with Your favor like a shield as we do business in our public and private lives. Thank You for continuing to open doors of opportunity. Thank You, Father, for Your Word to use as our economic strong tower during these trying financial times. We praise You with all of our hearts; we will tell of all the marvelous things You have done. Your reign is forever. You execute judgment from Your throne. You judge the world with justice and the people righteously. Lord, You are a shelter for the oppressed and a refuge in times of trouble. We trust in You because we know Your Name; we know that You do not abandon those who search for You. Father, Your righteousness reaches to the highest heavens. You have done wonderful things! Who can compare with You?
Glorious Father, we declare that we are blessed because we fear You and delight in obeying Your commands. We believe that Your plans for our finances are for good and not for disaster, to give us a prosperous future and a hope. As we are willing and obedient, according to Your Word, we will have plenty to eat. We will trust in You because we know that Your Word is Truth. We confess that our confidence is in You and not in our jobs, our investments, our bank accounts or ourselves. We commit to seeking Your Kingdom first above all things and living righteously and we know that You will give us everything we need. We rebuke old mindsets, habits and behavior patterns that have created lack and poverty. In the Name of Jesus, we stand united against thoughts of failure, defeat and mediocrity. According to Your Word, we confess that we will be wealthy and our good deeds will last forever.
What is a financial breakthrough that you are expecting to receive? Find God’s promises concerning finances and begin to declare them over your life:
Holy Spirit, we ask You to help those who are drowning in financial debt. Lead them to someone who can help them to manage their finances better. As we receive increases in our finances, help us, Holy Spirit, to remember that You are the One who provides abundance. Please help us not to hoard Your financial blessings. Your Word says that when we help the poor we are lending to the Lord and He will repay our generosity. So please, Holy Spirit, remind us to be generous and to look for opportunities to be a financial blessing to someone else in need. Teach us Your Way to love people and to use money, rather than the devil’s way of loving money and using people.
Merciful Father, forgive us for all acts of sin including idolatry, greed, stinginess, self-centeredness, arrogance, pride, stubbornness, financial disobedience and any other act of unrighteousness. Forgive those of us who continue to participate in the downward spiral of financial mismanagement. Forgive those of us who, whether in ignorance or in rebellion, fail to develop financial plans that include tithing, debt reduction, savings and investments. Forgive us for living beyond our means and misusing credit cards. Father, forgive those members of the Body of Christ who do not pay their tithes and help them to get on track and begin to tithe. 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. As for me, Holy Spirit, bring to my remembrance those I need to forgive. (Take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit to show you names or faces of people that you may need to forgive. As He shows you, say aloud, “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.
Glorious Lord, You made the earth by the power of Your Word and preserve it by Your Wisdom. With Your own understanding You stretched out the heavens. When You speak in the thunder, You announce that the heavens are filled with water. You cause the clouds to rise over the earth. You send the lightning with the rain and release the wind from Your storehouses. Holy, holy, holy are You the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the whole earth is filled with Your glory! In Jesus Name, Amen.
4. Concepts to Consider
Genesis 18 shows us what it means to have a posture of hospitality. The scene opens with Abraham sitting at the entrance to his tent. This would seem quite ordinary except that he had just been circumcised three days earlier (ouch!). Let’s face it; most people would have been in their beds groaning in pain rather than sitting at the doors of their tents. Even in his personal discomfort Abraham is seen scanning the horizon for anyone who might walk by. He’s ready to offer hospitality at a moments notice.
This hospitable disposition set Abraham apart and God took notice. On His/Their way to Sodom and Gomorrah God (as three “angelic” Persons) stops by to visit Abraham who–even in his pain–invites Them/Him to stop and receive gracious conversation, foot washing, rest, and a feast.
This story is extraordinary in the way it interweaves singular and plural verbal forms in reference to the complex yet unified nature of the One God presented as three Persons, and it highlights the exemplary hospitality of Abraham, “the father of many nations” (Genesis 17:5).
While there are many layers to this story in Genesis 18, one of the points we are encouraged to notice is that we, as the “children of Abraham,” are emboldened to follow his example by developing a
general disposition of hospitality. In a sense, hospitality is an antidote to the “self-referenced life” we have all inherited from our first parents, Adam and Eve. If you think about it, Abraham is portrayed as a more obedient type of “Adam” and Sarah is a type of “Eve.” Their open and welcoming interaction with the “Divine Guest(s)” is both a beautiful representation of God’s desire to be with us and what a heart that is turned to God looks like in its willingness to receive God’s imminent Presence. The writer of Hebrews will later pull on these images as examples of how followers of Jesus should welcome others, because you never know when you, like Abraham and Sarah, might be entertaining “angels–i.e., the Messengers of God’s Presence–unawares” (Hebrew 13:2).
5. Reflection Questions
- Personal Reflection: Have you ever offered hospitality to someone and you felt the presence of God with you? If so, briefly describe how that felt.
- Kingdom Reflection: How might developing a posture or attitude of expectant hospitality (being ready to show hospitality at any moment and as a way of life) change the world around you?
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.