When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us. Acts 16:15
Listen: Acts 16
Paul steps into first-century Philippi not knowing anyone. He hears about a place where people go to pray and begins to share with some women the Jesus message. As Lydia listens to the story of the generosity of God through the person and work of Jesus—her heart stirs, and she believes. Lydia responds to the story of Jesus by being baptized. After her baptism, she insists Paul and his companions stay with her. Lydia goes out of her way to meet a real need for a group of people she barely knew. Lydia shows hospitality.
When Lydia went to pray that morning, she didn’t expect to return with a group of houseguests. She saw a need and responded. She not only housed these men but would’ve met other needs like food and clothing. She was changed by grace and allowed her life to be disrupted because she chose to extend hospitality.
Just like Lydia, hospitality should spill out of our lives. Hospitality is not about us, but is anchored in God’s grace. Hospitality is about extending the grace we receive from God to others. There are times when the disruption is temporary, such as stopping to help a stranger stuck in a snow bank. Other times, we change our entire world by choosing to adopt a family group or having a stranger become a dear friend. This is the way of Jesus.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Think about who has “washed up on the shore” of your life. Consider who it is that God is giving you the opportunity to show hospitality. How can you step into their story and what does it look like for you to build them a fire?
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