Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

Sweet, Sweet Fellowship – You Need it Too

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(Pic is from my own church ladies Christmas fellowship from a few years back….lovely ladies!)

If you are the stay-at-home, mind-your-own-business, not-really-social, don’t-need-anyone, prefer-to-be-alone, just-me-and-my-family type of person, this is going to be an area of challenge for you. You see, living out the Christian life alone isn’t really what God had in mind for His people. We can see that clearly when we look at the New Testament church, following the resurrection and ascension of Christ. Scripture says:

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Acts 2:42

The word “steadfastly” is translated from the Greek word “proskartereō“. This word is translated: “devoted to, adherent to, constant, steadfast, continuing at all times in a place, persevering and not to faint.” By understanding the breadth of the word, we see a little more clearly how important it was for these early Christians to be together. They were committed to it. They were devoted. They continued at all times. What were they doing at all times?

We see that they were teaching doctrine. How wonderful it is to study the Word of God. We should never neglect to do so, however, that’s not all they were doing. They were steadfast in fellowship. That word fellowship is the beautiful word “koinōnia” which means, “fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse,the share which one has in anything, participation.”

** Notice that fellowship is listed separately from teaching of doctrine. So many churches today do one but neglect the other. They may teach doctrine steadfastly, but they are lacking in real fellowship, and because of that the body suffers. Scripture tells us the NT church broke bread together often. They shared meals. They went from home to home. They were intimately connected with one another. They were also in prayer. Of course, it’s much easier to pray for people when you are sharing in fellowship, because you know what their needs are and your closeness gives you even more of a healthy burden to pray for one another.

God never meant for us to walk this journey alone. He loves it when His children are in fellowship. He loves knitting our hearts together. Today I made a new friend whom I’ll be meeting with weekly for mutual encouragement in the Lord. I may have only met her today, but I can say that I love this sister, and that I know the Lord is knitting our hearts together and drawing us into fellowship. We need to make these connects, be in discipleship and mentor others in the Lord. We need to build community and relationships within the church.

Look, the enemy is constantly attacking us and trying to get us to stumble. The world is dark and the days are evil. We see are walking a narrow and unpopular road. We need each other, dear church.  Let us not neglect the fellowship of the saints. Let the stronger brother help the weaker. Let the wealthy brother give of his abundance to help the poor. Let us sacrifice of our own time to be with others in encouragement. Those are the things that matter in the end.

Fellowship. Sweet, sweet fellowship. You need it too…even if you don’t realize it.

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Practicing Hospitality

“For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate…” Titus 1:7-8

One of the ways we serve the Lord as keepers of the home is to open the doors of our home to others and show hospitality. The Guest Room is all about using your home to bless others. I do want to make it clear right from the start, however, that you are to only show hospitality as long as your husband has agreed to it and does not mind. Remember that your first calling is to submit to your own husband so do not disobey him even in order to do thing that would be considered good or right. That being said, hospitality is a beautiful calling and one that God has spoken of often in His Word.

The passage above from Titus (also found in 1 Timothy) is a list of qualifications for a bishop in the church. A bishop would be an overseer or elder in the church body. He is held to a high standard because he will take on the responsibility of caring for the body of Christ and it is a big deal. So part of the qualifications for a man to become a bishop is that he must be a lover of hospitality. He doesn’t just tolerate hospitality, but he loves it. To understand what that means we need to know what the word “hospitality” really does mean.

Looking up the Greek word we can see that there is not much to go on. The word simply means “hospitable or generous to guests.” It doesn’t say much. In the dictionary the word “hospitality” means: “the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers, the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly or generous way.” So hospitality is welcoming guests and strangers. This is fantastic! Who knew that as Christians we were to be welcoming strangers? We would have if we were reading the Bible as we should be because it says so right there.

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:2

I love this verse in Hebrews because it ties right in with the story of Lot. When the angels came to his town he showed them hospitality and brought them into his home. He was indeed entertaining strangers unawares! Then we see his family was the only one to be brought outside of Sodom before the firestorm. God wants us to welcome strangers and guests into our lives, whether it be at home, in the church, or wherever we can serve them. We should also be welcoming our church family into our homes and sharing life with them. In the book of Acts, the disciples of Christ and New Testament Christians went from home to home each night, breaking bread together and talking about Jesus. This is the kind of close-knit relationships we are meant to have within the body of Christ. I believe the church family should be so close that we are connected in unity, but we should also be ever-so ecstatic to open our arms to strangers and draw them in.

 “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” 1 Peter 4:9

We are to extend hospitality and also do so with a good heart and attitude. Have you ever invited a family from church over for dinner and forgot that you had a very busy day planned and ended up running around like a lunatic all day to get the house in order, the groceries bought and the dinner cooked before your guests arrived? I have done this very thing. You love having people over but the added work can sometimes be a heavy burden and that can lead to complaining and grumbling. God wants us to show hospitality to others with a good attitude. He wants us to enjoy it. How can we make ourselves enjoy what is a difficult task to accomplish? We are as prepared as possible and we realize that God is not asking us for perfection. The house doesn’t have to be immaculate, nor the meal sublime, in order to extend hospitality. The more you practice hospitality, the more it will become a way of life and a part of life that is not stressful but pleasant.

This gift of hospitality is one way that God knits our hearts together with others from our church body. My husband I believe that having close relationships within the church is very important. We therefore try often to have other families over for dinner in order to get to know them better, find out how they are doing, and simply edify one another in the Lord. If I waited until my schedule was clear or my house was in perfect array before I invited anyone over, we would miss a lot of good, uplifting fellowship time with our brothers and sisters.

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