READ: Acts 16:16-34
- Hospitality is a significant factor in Acts 16. Following her conversion (Acts 16:11-15), Lydia offers her home as a place of hospitality. She actually makes a strong appeal to Paul and the others to come to her home. It’s almost a test of whether or not they really accepted her among their number. Hospitality is a sign of acceptance and embrace.
- Following his conversion, the jailor embraces the opportunity to share hospitality. He makes his home available to these so-called criminals. It appears Paul and Silas are open to his welcome. Throughout Acts we see this movement from obedience to the gospel to some form of generous hospitality. It occurs as early as chapter 2, is magnified in chapter 6, and continues to recur throughout the story of the church.
- Part of the beauty of Connect groups is their built in means for hospitality. In a day and age when fewer people bring guests to their home, believers can create a deep sense of community by having consistent opportunities for hospitality. It’s in the context of community that caring, confrontation, collaborating, and disciple making occur. We all can use those experiences in our lives.
- Why do you suppose hospitality plays such a significant role in the stories in Acts?
- How has hospitality played a role in your life as a believer?
- How could you be more effective in using hospitality to enhance both your life and the lives of others?
PRAY: Thank God for those who have opened their lives to you. Pray for opportunities to give hospitality to others. Ask God to help you cultivate the willingness to experience hospitality.