One of the features of the first-century church that was exciting and appealing to people was the love and spirit of generosity that the Christians showed toward one another. They looked after one another and took care that no one suffered for lack of shelter, food, or clothes.
Christian fraternal organizations arose before there was a government safety net. They looked after widows and orphans and responded when families suffered disasters like fires or the death of the breadwinner. They pooled resources to make sure no one would suffer a debilitating financial blow.
In a dog-eat-dog world, genuine kindness really stands out. It is irresistible. If you want to make Jesus look good, and if you want people to feel drawn to your church, show unconditional love and generosity among yourselves. “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling” (1 Peter 4:9). It always thrills my heart when I see Christians take in a foster kid, take in a child of relatives who are going through severe financial and personal stress, help an unemployed person find work, or make sure a lonely person has a place to eat a Thanksgiving dinner. It always thrills my heart when I see members of my congregation inviting not only their long-time friends to their gatherings but also drawing in the newbies and strangers.
How often do you have people over at your home? Would people describe you as hospitable?
Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.
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