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Irresistible Hospitality

Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Romans 12:13
Irresistible Hospitality Book Cover

sandwiches: signs of salvation

Grandmas who wag their fingers and insist we take home the leftover pie; grandpas who quietly tuck money into our pockets; sisters who pack us a sandwich for a long trip back home; friends who stock their guest baths with our favorite toiletries so we can breeze through airport security lines on our way for a visit . . . these are people who firmly—and generously—extend hospitality so compellingly that we cannot say no. Their actions wrap us in belonging as swiftly as mothers scoop up their children. Love compels their generosity.

first lydia

Acts 16:13–15 introduces us to Lydia—a woman the text qualifies in three ways:

  • A businesswoman originally from Thyatira, which was known for its manufacture of expensive purple-dyed cloth, living abroad in Philippi as a merchant of that cloth.
  • A worshiper of God, who, though not Jewish, believed in Yahweh.
  • A homeowner in charge of a household of people (the text is silent about her relationship status) with enough space to accommodate Paul, Silas, Timothy, Luke, and others.

When Paul and his missionary brothers arrived in Philippi—“a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony” (v.12)—they went to the river beyond the city gates and found a group of women who had gathered for the Jewish Sabbath, or Shabbat. God had primed Lydia’s heart for this moment. Her belief in God turned to trust in Christ and resulted in her immediate baptism and the baptism of everyone living with her.

Irresistible hospitality followed: “After she was baptized, along with everyone in her household, she said in a surge of hospitality, ‘If you’re confident that I’m in this with you and believe in the Master truly, come home with me and be my guests.’ We hesitated, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer” (v. 15 MSG). Lydia’s conversion compelled her to offer generous hospitality. Paul’s acceptance affirmed her faith and place within the family of God.

then the jailer


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Being Generous With Your Hospitality

Daily Question

Every person who lived with Lydia as well as the jailer trusted Christ as their Savior. What do you think made that possible? In what ways do you offer hospitality so attractive that others cannot help but be intrigued about the God you serve?

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Comments (5)

Compelling hospitality, then, springs first from an acknowledgement of our own dependence on Christ and interdependence on others. Such awareness makes our offers of invitation, provision, and belonging ones that others will eagerly accept

Just loved this passage all hedges on our accetance of Christ andhow we live it out.. and its how we choose the ways we can offer our hospitality..

If we allow the love of Christ to truly abide in us and work through us; others will be attracted, at that point we can show hospitality.

God had prepared their hearts and they were looking for what God would be doing in the world around them and so when he moved, they recognized and received it instead of rejection and refusal in reliance of their own understanding and way. I think when we are moved so profoundly we cannot help but love fiercely and create space with others to rejoice in our Lord

The people Lydia met, who all were Christ followers, probably became believers through someone else sharing Jesus message of salvation with them. They probably had recognized their dependence on God to provide for them as they were in some of the roughest places in their lives where life was out of their control.

Ways I offer hospitality that seem attractive and intrigues others to want to serve God is through my children. They see their obedience, respect, kindness and some have patience and gentleness with one another. This is a reflection of our parenting.

Lydia was an example of Jesus to them!

I want to and try to be an example of Jesus through encouragement, generosity and hospitality to everyone I meet! Sometimes it is not always easy, but only God makes it possible in him!

God help me to he an example or Jesus everyday!

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