Welcome Guest

sent out

Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. And when you go into a household, greet it. — Matthew 10:11-12.

Men, Jesus is still instructing the 12 before sending them out on what equates to a religious survey and a training mission in one. Jesus tells the 12 to seek out “worthy” households to stay with as they arrive at a new town. Jesus knew that there was a lot on the line. Misinformation spreads faster than truth, so Jesus wanted the 12 to stay with people who had honest reputation.

This time and place setting was known for hospitality, and it was common for indigenous townspeople to open their homes to travelers. The 12 would be dependent upon being welcomed.

Jesus goes further in v12 to tell the 12 to “greet” a household when they found a place “worthy”. In other words, Jesus is telling the 12 to be good guests. The 12 would also speak a blessing over the home as they entered.

We can almost imagine in our time a bed and breakfast type atmosphere where we paid for our accommodations with a presentation of the gospel. We like to think of ourselves as good followers of Christ. We like to think we’re doing well as Christians as we attend church, say grace over our meal, and pray occasionally.

Do we know Jesus well enough, or His gospel well enough to present a clear message worthy of a night’s rent? Have we ever challenged ourselves to the 12s entry level training mission?

Of course, today in America is far less hospitable. We are distrusting and protective of our homes and families. Have you ever cooperated in a Bible study among strangers? Have you ever cooperated in a local missions opportunity? Have you ever challenged yourself to present a gospel message even in part to a stranger? Would we make a good guest? Would a host wish they hadn’t opened the door, or accepted our name on a sign up sheet?

Move forward men, finding worthy opportunities to share the message of hope and redemption to some one. Be a good guest, presenting the message with humility. Serve well from within any opportunity the Lord offers and pronounce a blessing over that place.

Vance Durrance

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Front Porch

Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. — 1 Peter 4:9 NKJV

In this time context, many Christians moved about often. Some as refugees, and others as ministers. As they traveled, they would be met with the hospitality of a brother and sister in Christ. To greet a traveler in the faith and welcome them into your home was considered an honor. Repeat… it was an honor to invite travelers into your own home as guests. It was a privilege to be able to meet their needs. Peter says in v.9 to offer hospitality without grumbling. Then, as now, not everyone in the household would always share the same enthusiasm for accommodating guests.

Ministering to the needs of others costs. But, love for one another is never cheap when it is sincere unto the Lord. Today grumbling is common. Even a casual “good morning” often turns into a competition for whose life and ailments are harder.

Where is your own heart in regard to grumblings and hospitality? Is your home open and inviting, or a stopgap against an encroaching world? Are guests at ease, or afraid to make their presence known? Is it a cold showpiece of your wealth and position, or a warm haven for anyone in need of rest or rescue? Move forward men, creating an environment around us of humility, gentleness and invitation that suggests “come and see what the Lord has provided”.

Bring back the front porch, and freedom to approach it and let’s remove the “no trespassing” signs stamped on our hearts. Are we kings of our castles, with walls and defenses on display, or sons of the Kingdom pointing to “the Way”?

Vance Durrance

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