Saturday, June 21, 2014

Open Heavens Devotional for Saturday, 21 June, 2014: HOME AWAY FROM HOME


Memorise: As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the  manifold grace of God.  1 Peter 4:10

Read: 2 Kings 4:8-17

8 And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread.
9 And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually.
10 Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.
11 And it fell on a day, that he came thither, and he turned into the chamber, and lay there.
12 And he said to Gehazi his servant, Call this Shunammite. And when he had called her, she stood before him.
13 And he said unto him, Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host? And she answered, I dwell among mine own people.
14 And he said, What then is to be done for her? And Gehazi answered, Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old.
15 And he said, Call her. And when he had called her, she stood in the door.
16 And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And she said, Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid.
17 And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life.

In the Bible passage for today’s meditation, a great woman of Shunem offered a home away from home to Elisha through generous reception and warm entertainment. Her hospitability opened the door to her long awaited miracle. Hospitality is a friendly and generous reception that should be considered as a duty by every Christian. 1 Peter 4:9 says:

“Use hospitality one to another without grudging.”

It should be noted that some people are reticent about generous reception and some others are even adamant in not showing hospitality to the people of God. Several reasons are given to justify their actions or inactions. These include tiredness and not having enough to entertain. It is however imperative and of great benefit to be hospitable. This is because God commands it (Deuteronomy 10:19). Hospitality is an opportunity to use small resources to attract great benefits. This is an opportunity every believer must grab whenever it comes or even proactively seek after. It can take the form of food or lodging (i.e. accommodation with facilities) as in 2 Kings 4:10. When we encounter the people of God who can benefit from our support, we should not hesitate to show them hospitality. Christians as individuals or as couples should be hospitable. Moreover, couples should agree to make ministers of God comfortable. Lots of benefits can be derived from this.

 From the story of the Shunammite woman, it is obvious that making men of God comfortable can solve age-long problems, but there must be an agreement between the husband and wife on this. Sometimes people argue that hospitality can be expensive. This could be true. However, the cost of hospitality cannot be compared to its benefits. The cost of providing bread and accommodation for Elisha was less than the benefit of receiving a male child at old age by the Shunammite woman. There are instances where people entertained angels unknowingly (Hebrews 13:2). Hospitality is key to receiving miracles, as reflected in the life of Abraham and his wife Sarah (Genesis 18:2-14). There is a user of this devotional whose miracles will be perfected through hospitality. An additional benefit is that you can win sinners to Christ through hospitality (Luke 7:36-39). The issue of hospitality should not be limited to individual Christians. As a church, you should show hospitality to your guests and visitors. God wants us to be generous; He is always doing something in return for our gracious hospitality. May the Lord help us to make your home and church a home away from home for guests and visitors in Jesus’ Name.

Prayer Point: Ask God for the grace to be hospitable.

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 24: 17-26:13; Psalm 135

 Source: OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL, VOLUME 14, 2014 by Pastor E.A Adeboye of RCCG.

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