Hospitality (Acts 28:11-16)

Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome.” (Acts 28:14, AV)

Six months after the Lord saved me, the pastor of our church spoke to me about going to Omaha Nebraska to attend an Evangelism Explosion teacher training conference. I had never been to a conference like this and was a bit uncertain what to expect. It was a week-long training program and the pastor told me that each attendee would be staying in the home of one of the church members.

Honestly, the living arrangements for the conference kind of shocked me. At the time of my salvation, I was working in a job in which I traveled some 80% of the time. It was normal for me to get on an airplane and travel to a destination and stay in a hotel room for the duration of my visit. I was a bit uneasy about staying with a perfect stranger.

When I arrived at the church that hosted the conference, I was introduced to the couple that would put me up. They were a couple about my age and very gracious. The first evening, they alleviated my fears as we spent about an hour getting acquainted at their home. We shared our personal conversion experiences and talked about many things pertaining to the faith. They were a blessing, making me feel at ease and welcome into their home.

Paul in his trip to Rome, arrived at a city in Italy called Puteoli. There they found some Christians who invited Paul and his companions to stay with them for a week. This is an act of Christian hospitality that plays a vital role in the work of God. The Lord uses believers to bless other believers in special ways.

With all the prominent people we read about in Paul’s ministry, we often overlook the importance of those unknown and seemingly insignificant participants. The Scripture does not mention these who house Paul and his group by name. Nonetheless, these unknown Christians blessed and played a significant role in Paul’s ministry. If we could look at all the people who participated in Paul’s ministry, we would find that the unknown believers would vastly outnumber those prominently mentioned.

The vast majority of Christians will never write a book, write a hymn, become a preacher, become a Bible teacher, or missionary. They will never take what we consider prominent positions in Christendom. However, every Christian does have a prominent and vital part in the Great Commission program.

Preachers often have stated that they long to hear the Lord welcome them with the words “Well done, good and faithful servant,” indicating that they had successfully negotiated their calling (Matt 25:21, 23). If the Lord does welcome believers with these specific words, He will speak these to all believers, great and small, who have been faithful to use their gifts and talents for the glory of God.

Therefore, we should not let ourselves get caught up in the philosophies of the world, seeking prominence and recognition in the presence of people. Rather, we should consider our high calling. God has not called us to seek notoriety but to seek Him with a whole heart. In this way, by doing our part faithfully, we will have been the faithful servants of the Lord.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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