Though Peter warns us to be hospitable without grumbling, it does not follow thatÂ hospitality is a drag. Far from it! All those labors I mentioned in the last post (menu planning, table setting, shopping, cooking, cleaning) that are related to hospitality can be very enjoyable. I love having people over for dinner, and I thoroughly enjoy all the aspects of it. But I still have to keep a sharp lookout for temptation, or I can stumble like Martha did. It is always the little foxes that spoil the vineyard.
In 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 Paul says some wonderful and important things that relate to showing hospitality. He says if we sow sparingly, we will reap sparingly; if we sow bountifully, we will reap bountifully. And, by the way, God loves a cheerful giver. He doesn’t want any grumpy sowing. And then in verse 8 he says, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” Notice the use of the word all: all grace, all sufficiency, all things, and every work. Sounds like there are no exceptions. God loves to use the superlative. He will give us all we need to sow bountifully and cheerfully, and He will bless our labors liberally.
In case we didn’t get it, a couple verses later (10-11) we hear it again: “Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.”
Did you get that? Not only does He give us seed, He is going to multiply it and double our blessings, so that we have more, so that we can give again, this time more liberally.
Hospitality is one of the ways we can sow seeds of liberality, generosity, fruitfulness, and abundance, all to the glory of God. It is a labor that God loves to bless, and when we see it all with the eye of faith, the blessings multiply, spill over, and abound. No wonder it is such a pleasure to prepare a feast for our families and friends. It is like throwing seeds into fertile ground and watching them burst out of the ground.