One Anothering Well - Welcome Home

Some News You Can Use from Shelby Center

Have you ever visited someone for the first time and realized all at once that it felt like home? Maybe you knew instinctively that “this is what a home should be and feel like.”

There is a warm, inviting atmosphere that says it’s okay to let your guard down and be yourself: Make yourself at home.

Have you heard of the numerous accounts in Poland of war-torn refugees fleeing Ukraine that are not being placed into government or NGO shelters, but rather being invited into homes?

Some are extending an open hand from an open door that says welcome home, you’ll find friendship, mercy, and grace to help here.

When we one-another well, relational health improves when the atmosphere of our church-life together feels like home.

It says to any who visit, Welcome home. Real people, with real problems, seeking real progress spiritually need a compelling community of believers with whom to share life, not “do church”.

Speaking to displaced believers in need of refuge from spiritual warfare and cultural hostility toward Christ-followers, God’s word gives an encouraging command that resonates with any weary traveler, wanderer, or worshipper of Jesus who feels a bit out of place: A hospitality command. (From 1 Pet. 4:7-10):

Hospitality can be defined as making room for others by virtue of granting access and showing acceptance in our church and at home. More succinctly, it is being fond of guests.

We make the gospel visible in wel-coming community when we’re intentional about living in unity, fervent charity, and growing in maturity.

1. The Gospel is Made Visible When We Use Hospitality with Grace: The Access.

•Grace gives what is needed, not deserved. People hunger for healthy relationships rooted in genuine compassion that refreshes each other (1 Cor. 16:14-18).

Make your hospitality positively addicting!

•“Christian proclamation might make the gospel audible, but Christian living together in local congregations (churches) make the gospel visible.

The church is the gospel made visible.”

•At our table, we do not compromise our values, we make them comprehensible to others. Open your home for Jesus (Acts 5:42, 10:24, 33). Plan, prepare, be proactive: A meal, bible study, prayer…

•We make the gospel accessible to others when we prepare in advance for the unexpected guest. We should also intentionally, regularly invite others to our table: “Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine.”

2. The Gospel is Made Visible When We Use Hospitality without Grudging: The Acceptance.

•Grace gives what is needed, absent discontent. God wants us with Him. The hospitality industry is built upon caring for and treating people well, in such a way that it feeds the desire to visit again.

•Kindness toward our community reaches into our own resources and gives Christ a good name.

We find ways to give expressions of love, care, support, cheer, compassion, friendliness, and meaningful interaction that invites them to God’s table remembering we too were once strangers (Eph. 2:11-19).

•When we show hospitality to visitors and to each other we demonstrate our awareness that people need acceptance and access to what the gospel looks like: God’s love, patience, and provision…home.

We don’t need to wait for a war next door to extend an open hand from an open door that says to the weary, Welcome, make yourself at home.

When we’re fond of guests we’ll welcome them to our table and God’s making the gospel visible and the love and life of Christ accessible.

We’re not just church. We’re compelling community. We open our door and show others friendship, mercy, and grace to help and let them know we’re fond of guests, and we’re glad you’re here. Welcome home.

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