Receive and Declare
How delightful it is when we first believe and receive God’s forgiveness and grace! We are usually so humbled and so thankful for His saving grace that we want to share it with others, in whatever ways we can. And it can be so powerful.
Back when I was a pre-believer, attending college at Ohio State, I was invited to a Bible study that I went to a few times with friends. It was a nice time of getting to know some Christians and thinking about whether I wanted to explore the faith more deeply.
During the course of the study, my group of eight was invited to dinner at the home of one of the college’s professors, who lived in a swanky area near campus. This professor and his wife were in their mid-50’s, and they were strong Christians, very interested in discipleship.
Everything about that event was a reflection of the beauty of Christ and Christian living. Their home was beautifully appointed. The colors and fabrics and textures used in the home were of the best quality. The scent of a homemade dinner greeted us at the door, inviting this group of scraggly students to taste and see that the Lord is good! (Psalm 34:8)
Our hosts were lovely and cheerful and generous…and as they led us to their round dining room table, set for 10, it was clear that they had worked very hard and prepared very well for this evening.
We felt so welcome and wanted.
What a blessed way to declare His Praise!
That couple used what they had, in the situation and location they were in, to teach transgressors and sinners what it looks like to live a life of thanksgiving and praise.
The impression they made has stayed with me to this day, nearly 40 years later, and I must say that it is still in my mind as the hallmark of Christian hospitality.
It wasn’t so much their standard of living that mattered; it was more “the aroma of Christ” that emanated from the whole experience.
I’ve had similar experiences in less grand circumstances, too, when someone or other opened their home and their heart and declared God’s praise by serving others with joy and thanksgiving.
God calls each of us into ministry and it is an honor and joy to use whatever He has given us to bless others, and invite them to join Him on the adventure of a lifetime.
- Have you been given the gift of hospitality? Use it for His Glory! Invite some students over for dinner and fellowship!
- Are you a singer? Then sing! “Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise!” (Psalm 51:15)
- How about the gift of teaching? Use it to invite others into the faith! Teach what you know, and go with the passions that God has given you…it doesn’t have to be some deep theological study…if you love to crochet, invite a couple of people over who want to learn, and make it a ministry opportunity!
- Maybe you’re an older person, with lots of life experience under your belt…then be obedient to Titus 2 and be available to mentor younger believers.
The world needs Christ more than it needs anything! And Christ is in and through everything! So use what He’s given you!
Forgive as you have been forgiven, and love as you are loved. This is the best way to honor our God and to teach others about His great mercy!