Surprising Hospitality Hebrews 13:1

Surprising Hospitality Hebrews 13:1-­‐3 The Generous Life Series January 31-­‐February 1, 2015 Sermon Summary Link to the Sermon Think of someone you know who demonstrates the gift of hospitality well. What qualities make this person a good host(ess)? Think now about yourself. Would you categorize yourself as being a good host(ess)? If not, why? What aspects of hospitality do you find uncomfortable? What aspects do you enjoy? This Week’s Bible Study 1 Peter 4:8-­‐11 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. Background and Context This letter was written by Peter to the Christians living in various parts of Asia Minor (what we now know as Turkey) who were suffering rejection in the world because of their obedience to Christ. Silvanus, who accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey, was likely Peter’s secretary in composing 1 Peter. Ancient tradition suggests that Peter was martyred in Rome in conjunction with Nero’s severe persecution of Christians after the burning of Rome in A.D. 64. This letter was likely written toward the end of Peter’s life and the early sixties are a good estimate for the composition of 1 Peter. Since all true Christians experience hostility from an ungodly world, the call to patience and holiness amid suffering is applicable to all. However, the message is most pertinent where the opposition is severe. Persecution of Christians is as great in many areas of the world today as it was in the first century, and 1 Peter offers hope to those suffering for Christ’s sake. (New Spirit Filled Life Bible Commentary) This chapter specifically was written to encourage those who were experiencing trials and persecutions to live a holy life; that their enemies would not be able to find accusations against them. He urges them to live out a life of love and hospitality, virtues that would be useful in a time of affliction and persecution; and to take their gifts seriously. Study and Discuss (Read through the entire passage out loud.) 1) What kind of love does v8 say we should have for each other? Why? What do you think Peter meant when he said “love covers over a multitude of sins?” Why is this verse noteworthy, particularly within the small group community? How could it be applied in the context of hospitality? Have one or two people describe a time when they experienced this. We should offer deep, passionate, fervent, sincere love for one another because love covers over a multitude of sins. God is love. Therefore love should be the defining characteristic of God’s people themselves. This intense love for others should drive us to be “blind” in the area of offenses and quick to forgive when we’ve been sinned against. Small group life can be messy at times. We need to extend grace to each other and be quick to overlook each other’s faults. 2) Have someone look up the word “grumbling”. What does it mean? What are some other words that could be used here? Have someone look up 2 Corinthians 9:7 and read it out loud. In what spirit do you think God would have us to give to each other in hospitality? Would you consider yourself to be the “cheerful giver” or the “grumbler”? The word “grumbling” means to complain or protest about something in a bad-­‐
tempered but typically muted way. Some other words that could be used are complaining, moaning, grouchy. 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” He wants us to give to each other and open up our homes with a willing, cheerful heart. Not with a complaining spirit. 3) What does v10 say that we each have received? What do you think the different gifts are that God has given to us? According to v11, how should we treat the gifts we’ve been given? What do you think it means to be a “good steward”? Why might it be important that we use the gifts and talents God has given to us (refer to Matthew 25:14-­‐30 if need be)? Are you currently using your gifts and talents for the Lord? V10 says that we each have been given a gift from God to be used within the body of Christ and that we should be a good steward of these gifts, using our gifts to glorify Jesus. To be a good steward means using the gifts entrusted to us by the Lord for the strengthening and encouragement of fellow believers. Matthew 25:14-­‐30 in a nutshell is if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. 4) For those who may not know yet where God would have them serve or what their gifts may be, spend a few minutes discussing the following list of gifts given to us by God. Which of these resonates within your spirit? Where do you think the Lord would be asking you to serve? What practical steps can you take to make this happen? Use this as an opportunity to flow into ministry time, praying for those who are seeking the Lord and where He would use their gifts. EXHORTATION: Rom. 12:8 -­‐ to come along side of someone with words of encouragement, comfort, consolation, and counsel to help them be all God wants them to be and motivate them to service. GIVING: Rom. 12:8 -­‐ to share what material resources you have with liberality and cheerfulness without thought of return. LEADERSHIP: Rom. 12:8 -­‐ Leadership aids the body by leading and directing members to accomplish the goals and purposes of the church. Leadership motivates people to work together in unity toward common goals. MERCY: Rom. 12:8 -­‐ to be sensitive toward those who are suffering, whether physically, mentally, or emotionally, so as to feel genuine sympathy with their misery, speaking words of compassion but more so caring for them with deeds of love to help alleviate their distress. PROPHECY: Rom. 12:6; 1 Cor. 12:10; Eph. 4:11 -­‐ to speak forth the message of God to His people. The gift of communicating and enforcing revealed truth. SERVICE/HELPS: Rom. 12:7 -­‐ —Those with the gift of service/helps recognize practical needs in the body and joyfully give assistance to meeting those needs. Christians with this gift do not mind working behind the scenes. TEACHING: Rom. 12:7; 1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11 -­‐ to instruct others in the Bible in a logical, systematic way so as to communicate information for the building up, unifying, and maturing of the body. ADMINISTRATION: 1 Cor. 12:28 -­‐ to steer the body toward the accomplishment of God-­‐given goals and directives by planning, organizing, and supervising others. APOSTLE: Eph. 4:11; 1 Cor. 12:28 -­‐ to be sent forth to new frontiers (missionaries or church-­‐
planters) with the gospel, providing leadership over church bodies and maintaining authority over spiritual matters pertaining to the church. Apostles motivate the body to look beyond its walls in order to carry out the Great Commission. DISCERNMENT: 1 Cor. 12:10 -­‐ to clearly distinguish truth from error by judging whether the behavior or teaching is from God, Satan, human error, or human power. FAITH: 1 Cor. 12:8-­‐10 – Faith trusts God to work beyond the human capabilities of the people. Believers with this gift encourage others to trust in God in the face of apparently insurmountable odds. HEALING: 1 Cor. 12:9,28,30 -­‐ to be used as a means through which God makes people whole either physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. KNOWLEDGE: 1 Cor. 12:8 -­‐ It is the God-­‐given ability to learn, know, and explain the precious truths of God’s Word. A word of knowledge is a Spirit-­‐revealed truth. TONGUES: 1 Cor. 12:10; 14:27-­‐28 -­‐ to speak in a language not previously learned so unbelievers can hear God's message in their own language or for the body to be edified. INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES: 1 Cor. 12:10; 14:27,28 -­‐ to translate the message of someone who has spoken in tongues. WISDOM: 1 Cor. 12:8 – Wisdom is the gift that discerns the work of the Holy Spirit in the body and applies His teachings and actions to the needs of the body. EVANGELISM: Eph. 4:11 -­‐ to be a messenger of the good news of the Gospel. PASTOR: Eph. 4:11 -­‐ to be responsible for spiritually caring for, protecting, guiding, and feeding a group of believers entrusted to one's care. HOSPITALITY: 1 Pet. 4:9,10 -­‐ to warmly welcome people, even strangers, into one's home or church as a means of serving those in need of food or lodging. Literally means ‘love of strangers’. Ministry Time After allowing time to wait on the Lord and listen to what the Holy Spirit may want to do in your group, lead a time of ministry and prayer. Some of your group members may be really trying to figure out where the Lord would have them serve within the body. Take some time to pray for them. Pray also for those who may be reluctant to get back into ministry, particularly after a painful experience in the past with serving.