REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on January 29, 2014.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers.”
Paul’s request here feels somewhat foreign to us in two regards: first, most of us don’t live in a house with a spare room that can readily be turned into a guest room; two, we rarely pray for someone to visit us and for them to stay for awhile. But a recent experience with a relative, who was still unmarried and whose mother died a few years ago, made me realize the importance of hosting people, regardless of the size of my home.
One day, my wife was informed of his plan to attend a weeklong conference held in our city. Even though all travel expenses were covered, including a hotel stay near his meeting, he wanted to stay with us. But we live in a small house, and that week our son came home for spring break; his room is the basement. While we planned to invite him to dinner, the thought of someone staying in our small house for a week didn’t enamor me. I reasoned that his stay would affect me since I work at home (on the dinner table), mostly writing until the late evening.
However, it became apparent that this relative really wanted to stay with us. I actually prayed about this, and the Lord made it clear t hat this had more to do my unresolved feelings toward him than anything else. Thus, even though the best I could offer was for him to share the basement with my son, this accomplished physician didn’t care. So, he ended up eating with us every night, used my car to commute to his meeting, and spent the evening interacting with my family. During this time, I came to see that this lonesome man simply missed being around a family. Perhaps, that’s why, as I was praying one morning, the Lord told me to tell him, “You can stay with us any time you are in town.” Surprised to hear this, he said, “Oh really, thanks.” I think that did more for me than for him.
“Practice hospitality” (Rom. 13:13b) said Paul. To do that sometimes, we must first “accept one another . . . just as Christ accepted you” (Rom. 15:7a). So, who in your life do you need to accept?
Prayer: Jesus, I realized today that sometimes willingness to be hospitable toward someone is tied to overlooking that person’s faults. Lord, help me to be gracious, especially toward those who have disappointed or hurt me. Remind me of Christ’s sacrifice and empower me to be hospitable with the strength you provide. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Jeremiah 45
Lunch Break Study
Read Heb. 13:1-2: “Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. 2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
Gn. 18:2-5: “Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground. 3 He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5 Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant. . . .”
Jer. 31:25: “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” (Read it literally; ignore the context.)
Questions to Consider
- Define hospitality. What would that involve in the context of AMI churches?
- How does hospitality affect those who receive it?
- How does hospitality affect those who give it? What has been your personal experience?
- It is giving aid and comfort to those who need it. Of course, in today’s world, most people would be hard pressed to bring in complete strangers to their home. At the very least, we can offer our places to people from other AMI churches who are attending events held at your church.
- The Jeremiah passage says it very succinctly: “Refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” When you are in a jam and someone steps up like that, it brings great relief.
- Obviously, it would make them feel good and there is nothing wrong with that. Perhaps more importantly, being hospitable (i.e., being generous) can clarify our priorities, giving us an opportunity to remember why God has blessed us.
Let’s review today. Did you have an opportunity to be hospitable toward someone? Was someone hospitable toward you? Make a journal of this day in light of those questions.