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Out Live Your Life by Max Lucado
Open Your Door; Open Your Heart
They ate together in their homes, happy to share their food with joyful hearts.
—Acts 2:46 (ncv)
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Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
(1 Peter 4:9–10 nlt)
Heavenly Father, every breath is a gift from your hand. Even so, I confess that sometimes my own hand remains tightly closed when I encounter the needs of others. Please open both my hand and my heart that I might learn to open my door to others. As you help me open my heart and hand, O Lord, I ask that you also prompt me to open my life to those who need a taste of your love and bounty. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Questions for Discussion
1. Do you know someone who is a great example of hospitality? What makes that person seem hospitable?
2. How are you currently using your home as a tool in helping others? How could you make your kitchen, your backyard, your living room, or even your dorm room into a place of intentional hospitality?
3. What keeps you from inviting others into your home? How could you remove those barriers? In what ways do you too often listen to the “Martha Stewart voice” and miss the point of hospitality?
4. Read each of the following passages about hospitality: Acts 16:15, 34; Acts 21:8; Acts 28:2, 7; Romans 12:13; 1 Timothy 5:10; Titus 1:8; Hebrews 13:2; 1 Peter 4:9–10; and 3 John 1:8. How should we view hospitality in light of these verses?
5. Name some people you would like to invite into your home soon. Set a time in the next two weeks to open your door to one or more of these people.
Ideas for Action
■ Start a routine of hospitality in your life so it is always happening. Designate one meal a week as your “hospitality meal,” and always plan to have people over. For example, you could invite friends every week to watch a ball game—an open invitation to enjoy your hospitality and your television. Or prepare a pot of soup every Saturday night. Set up a hospitality station on your front porch or in your driveway, and serve bowls of friendship to your neighbors.
■ Intentionally include others at your special family events. Invite a single person over for Christmas Eve dinner. Have a family in need join you for Thanksgiving, or take the turkey and have the meal in their home. On Mother’s Day celebrate some of the older women in church who never had children or whose children are far away. Keep an eye on individuals who sit alone or have yet to make friends in your church, and invite them over for a meal (even if you get take-out food on the way home).
“Reprinted by permission. Outlive Your Life: You Were Made to Make A Difference by Max Lucado, 2010, copyright date, Thomas Nelson Inc. Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved.”