Inconvenient Hospitality

 

I love people. I love having company.  I love playing hostess.    I love to cook.  I love the idea of breaking bread together and having great conversation.  I love all of the aforementioned….when it is convenient.  I struggle with being hospitable when I have to change my plans, when I am not prepared, tired, or quite honestly I just don’t feel like it.  I don’t like to be inconvenienced.  But the Lord is challenging me to be hospitable even when the stage of perfection is removed and there is no home cooked meal to make me look good, no tidy house, and a tired hostess.    True hospitality is recognizing a need and being so connected to God that I am willing to meet it regardless of the inconvenience.  True hospitality is not about me as the hostess looking good.   It is more about me glorifying Jesus through my actions, through my willingness to hit pause with my schedule to meet your needs. It is a tall order I know, but Jesus never requires anything of me that He himself has not modeled.  He sets the bar high but it is totally attainable by His grace and my willingness to yield.    I am also learning that hospitality goes beyond the four walls of my home.

Luke 9: 10-17 speaks of how Jesus was trying to slip away quietly with His disciples who had just returned from doing ministry but the crowds followed Him.  The part that blew me away and convicted me was verse 11.  It says the crowd found and followed him AND HE WELCOMED THEM.  Not only did He welcome them but He taught them and healed those who were sick. Wow and double wow.   It is in this same passage that Jesus does the miracle of feeding the five thousand.  After Jesus was done teaching and healing, the disciples who were no doubt exhausted from their ministry efforts told Jesus,” Let us wrap this party up. We don’t have any food. It is late and we are tired. Send them to the nearby towns and villages to handle their own needs.  After all, they should be good with all the ministering that you just did.” But Jesus, my Jesus pushes the envelope and responds, “No I am not going to send them away, YOU FEED THEM!”  WHAT?!  The disciples responded to Jesus, “Umm Jesus that is kind of impossible, we don’t have enough for this massive crowd, all we have is five loaves and two fish and there is five thousand men.”

I know my response would have been like the disciples. However Jesus’ willingness to show hospitability opened the door for His father to multiply the little He had so that the needs of the multitude was met.  Amazing!  Not only did they have enough but there were left overs.  Yes my God is an exceedingly abundantly type of God!

I want to be an instrument in the hands of my Father.  I want to be aware that when I am willing to be hospitable (even when it is inconvenient) that God can work a miracle in the lives of those that I extend myself to.  Again, remember hospitability is not limited to the four walls of your home.  Perhaps Jesus is asking you to pause to minister to that person you meet in the grocery store because they are in need of a miracle and they need to see Jesus.  Maybe you need to abandon the idea of waiting until your house looks perfect before you invite that individual the Lord has laid on your heart over to dinner.  Maybe your lack of finances is an issue, have you considered praying and asking the Lord to multiply the little you have to meet the needs of others?  Do you struggle with being hospitable when it is inconvenient? Leave a comment and let me know.

 

 

 

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Pride: Some Symptoms and the Cure

I have a confession to make.  I don’t do well with correction, I am easily offended and I have held on to offenses a lot longer than I should. The more I go with God, the more this becomes highlighted.  I can give you many reasons and excuses as to why I am like this but the beginning and end of the story is PRIDE. Pride is great at hiding itself and has many symptoms.  However it is my desire to go deeper with God and I have been crying out for the fire of God to purge me…to cure me from this pride thing. 

As my Pastor said in one of his sermons, I struggle with being corrected when I think too much of myself.  I assume I have it all figured out.  It is also quite prideful for me to hold on to offenses when Christ has freely forgiven me.  The words of Philippians 2 has been shining the light on some dark areas in my heart.  It reminds me that I am to imitate Christ’s humility…the cure for pride.  He did not cling to His rights as God.  He emptied Himself of all His divine privileges. And how did He handle those who offended Him?  He freely gave His life so that they could be forgiven.  So that I can be forgiven. As I strife to imitate Christ I am believing that not only will I quickly release offenses but that I won’t be so easily offended.  I desire to come to a place of having “thicker skin.”  When I am more like Him, it becomes less about me so I am not always wrapped up in how they made ME feel.  I desire to have the kind of love that covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). True love, true humility.

James 4:6 tells me that God resist the proud but He gives favor to the humble.  I am not at all interested in being resisted by the one who is in control.  That is a scary place to be. If I am resisted by God, all my efforts will fail.  EVERY SINGLE ONE!   So yielding to His spirit and asking to be transformed into His likeness is a no brainer for me…eternal failure is just not that appealing.

The more I spend time in God’s presence the more I see myself.  I get a different view of me, I see the real me.  His fire brings the impurities to the surface.  And while this process is humbling, it is also liberating to know that I am being transformed.  As my husband preached on yesterday, I am not interested in being a modified or stagnant Christian. I want to be TOTALLY TRANSFORMED!  I want to become a house of prayer!  So today, I am asking the Lord to deliver me from pride and all its symptoms.  How about you?

 


 

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Holy Ghost Wildfire

 

I have really been thinking about the fire of God lately and quite frankly I DON’T WANT TO SHAKE IT.  I don’t want it to be a fleeting thought.

I want His fire to consume me.

I want to believe that He still makes visitations like He did in Acts Chapter 2.  The more I go with God, the more I hunger for His fire.  Not just for the power but for the purging.

I want to look more like Him…not thinking of myself more highly than I ought to, not striving to please man, not having an inward focus, and not putting a cap on my ability to love.  I want His supernatural love to flow through me….an overflow!

I can’t get to this place without His fire. I can’t live beyond what is normal without His fire. I won’t be willing to color outside the lines without His fire.

I want to operate in boldness and not be paralyzed by the possibility of being persecuted and not being liked. I want to speak His unpopular truths  without reservation even though I know there will be a direct backlash. Yes Jesus I want a Holy Ghost wildfire in me.  I want you to set a fire down in my soul!

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Beyond Confession to Connection

Before watching the video below, I encourage you to read Colossians 2:6-8.  It is my desire for my roots to grow down into Christ creating a greater connection.  How about you?

WHEN YOU ARE READY TO END THE SHOW BUT DON’T KNOW HOW TO GET OFF THE STAGE

I remember how it felt to be tired.

Tired of performing.

Tired of living beneath my God given purpose.

Tired of being away from where I belonged… in Christ.

But it all just seemed so hard. I knew that serving Jesus was the right choice.  That was not the question.  I just did not know how.  Yes, I understood the need to repent but I just did not know how to really just come, how to end my affair with the devil and surrender my all to Jesus.  It seemed like such a daunting task, such an insurmountable mountain.  Would He really forgive me? Could I really live a saved life?  I was not ignorant to bible stories.  I heard about His love in Sunday school.  I sat in church Sunday after Sunday but I was far away from Him because sometimes your head knows truth that your heart rejects!

Perhaps this is where you are today.  You are tired of being a cast member in the devil’s show, you are ready to surrender but you just don’t know how to get off the devil’s stage.  How do you do this?  It is all about putting one foot in front of the other. Yes you acknowledge that you are a sinner, repent of your sins, acknowledge Jesus as your Lord and your need for Him to be your savior.  Get into the word, and get to know your new savior.  Resist the prideful mindset that you can do saved all by yourself, we need to be accountable to God and to each other.  There is a need for getting together with other believers.  Pray and ask Him to lead you to a bible believing church filled with a leadership that is crazy enough to preach and live ALL OF HIS WORD. And then after that?   Well you pray and ask Him to give you a heart to believe like a child!

Believe what doesn’t make sense, what seems foolish to unbelievers. 1 Corinthians 1:18

Believe that He loves you with an everlasting love.  Jeremiah 31:3

Believe that as far as the east is from the west that is how far He has removed your sins from you. Psalm 103:12-14

Believe that His grace is sufficient and that He meets you in your place of weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Believe that when you are tempted to go back, you don’t have to be overtaken because God will provide a way of escape… believe for His grace to kick in for you to take the place of escape. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Believe that He will give you power to walk by the spirit and not the flesh.  Galatians 5:16-17

How about it?  Are you ready to make the best choice of your life, one with eternal consequences?  Get off the devil’s stage.  A new life awaits you!

 

 

 

 

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GO AND SIN NO MORE

Have you sinned and feel condemned? I want to encourage you to receive the forgiveness that Jesus offers and do not return to sin. If you have a repentant heart there is no need to continue to feel condemned.  Watch the below video to be encouraged!