Hospitality Hugs

15a089398b9c839566337bb12bdb5d1aAbove all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. (1 Peter 4:8-9)

What do you have difficulty embracing?

How do you handle sin in someone else’s life? Does it differ from how you handle sin in your own life?

How hospitable without complaining are you?

 

Just as God wants us to love what He loves, He also wants us to know what is outside His intention and ideal. No matter what someone is doing, God doesn’t hate the person. Each person is His creation. God has purpose for each person, whether he or she fulfills it or not. He doesn’t want to lose a single person from eternal life with Him, but He gives us choice, and our eternal lives are impacted by those choices. God hates sin. He hates anything that comes between us and Him. We are made in His image, and He intends for us to become more like Him every moment as we pursue Him through faith. We need to know what He loves and what He doesn’t. However, it’s not about legalism. We cannot consider God’s justice without His grace.

We don’t carry the responsibility of God’s justice. We are not the moral police. He is the judge. There’s a difference between being the judge and jury and being a discerning believer who isn’t gullible enough to accept falsehoods or too proud to acknowledge or assume truth. As we become familiar with God’s will and He stirs the passions within us, He will let us know when we need to respond appropriately to something that angers Him. And He will equip us to confront, speak the truth, and love in His way. We don’t have to fix everything. We don’t need to convict someone. But we also don’t need to stand beside the road and ignore what is outside of God’s intention and ideal. The key is discernment, trusting God’s timing in every response of thought, words and actions. Just as Jesus did, we will often be prompted to embrace the outcasts, ill, and misunderstood.

Give a hug today. In fact, give as many as you can.

To Seek and Surrender

imagesOne day Elisha went to Shunem. A prominent woman who lived there persuaded him to eat some food. So whenever he passed by, he stopped there to eat. Then she said to her husband, “I know that the one who often passes by here is a holy man of God, so let’s make a small room upstairs and put a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp there for him. Whenever he comes, he can stay there.” (2 Kings 4:8-10)

Holiness shows. People won’t always be able to identify exactly what it is that sets someone apart. They might say things like, “She is just so calm and has a peace about her even during chaos,” or “I’m not sure what sets him apart, but there’s something different that draws me to wonder more.” Of course, not everyone wants to know more or get closer. Sometimes the evidence of God’s presence in someone’s life repels them, because they simply aren’t in the place where they want to welcome God yet.

But when someone is curious and receptive, he or she extends hospitality. It shows an open and generous heart, searching for God’s presence. Hospitality shares life. So does holiness.

Holiness isn’t perfection; it’s humble growth. It’s the process of faith. It’s the result of faith, the evidence of faith. It is what purposes and drives faith as well as what faith develops. It is a goal and a motivation toward the goal. It is what we choose and how we surrender. Seek it, and surrender to it.

Jesus Is Hospitable

Whoever accepts you also accepts me, and whoever accepts me also accepts the One who sent me. Whoever meets a prophet and accepts him will receive the reward of a prophet. And whoever accepts a good person because that person is good will receive the reward of a good person. Those who give one of these little ones a cup of cold water because they are my followers will truly get their reward. (Matthew 10:40-42)

Jesus explains to the disciples the rewards of welcoming others, the call to hospitality. A cup of cold water, in Jesus day, would have been a rare treat. Women gathered water from the village well every morning, but it took a very short time in the hot sun to warm the cool, refreshing water. In order to offer a guest cool water, someone would most likely have to run to the well and return home quickly.

In these verses, Jesus addresses who is worthy of such inconvenient yet generous hospitality. “Little ones” might refer to children but likely extends to a much wider circle of anyone from a less-appreciated strata of society, such the poor, sinful, and overlooked. Hospitality doesn’t play favorites.

Hospitality isn’t something that simply happens in your house. It’s an attitude of your heart. It’s how you greet people, how you invest in relationships, and how you sacrifice what you have for who you know and who you don’t. Hospitality isn’t something you can check on your list, rationalizing you’ve done “enough.” Constantly ask yourself, “How can I do more?”

“Hospitality is the practice by which the church stands or falls.” (Arthur Sutherland)

This Week’s 7 – Summertime Snacks

Each Monday on the Pure Purpose blog, I feature This Week’s 7, a simple list about an everyday topic, giving you ideas and encouragement. This week’s list gives you ideas for scrumptious summertime snacks. Add your favorites to the list, and we’ll all refresh our recipes this summer!

Farmers’ Market Salsa

2 ears fresh, sweet corn, cut off the cob

1/2 medium red onion, diced

2 green onions, white and green parts, chopped

1 1/2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved

1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and chopped in chunks

1 jalapeno, sliced

1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves chopped

1 lemon, juiced

1 lime, juiced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, tossing to coat. Put the salsa in a sealable plastic container.

Mixed Berry Dessert

2 tablespoons low-fat yogurt (key-lime or lemon)

Juice of 1/2 lime (about 1 tablespoon)

1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, torn

1 cup cubed cantaloupe

4 medium strawberries, stemmed and quartered

1/4 cup raspberries

1/4 cup blueberries

Whisk the yogurt, lime juice, and mint together in a medium bowl. Add the fruit and toss to combine. Serve.

Watermelon Cookies

Watermelon

Vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt (or cream cheese or other icing substitute)

Sprinkles (optional)

Slice melon into 1-inch-thick slabs, then use cookie cutters to make shapes. Frost your treats with vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt (spoon the yogurt into a squeeze bottle to make decorating really fun and easy) and top them with
sprinkles if you like.

Twisted Shake

1/2 cup milk

2 scoops chocolate ice cream

3 tablespoons chocolate syrup

1/8 teaspoon peppermint or orange extract

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Mix on high for about 8 seconds or until the ingredients are evenly combined, then pour into a tall glass.

Fruity Fruit Punch

2 cups cranberry juice

1 cup pineapple juice

1 cup orange juice

1/4 cup grenadine syrup

1/4 cup lime juice

1 lemon, cut into thin slices

1 lime, cut into thin slices

3 1/2 cups club soda, chilled

Mix the juices and syrup in a large pitcher. Chill for at least an hour to let the flavors to blend. Right before serving, add the lemon and lime slices and the club soda, then pour over ice.

Pudding Pops

1 small package of instant chocolate pudding (3.4 ounces)

2 cups milk

1/2 cup sugar

With a wire whisk, blend together 1 package of instant chocolate pudding, 2 cups milk, 1/2 cup cream, and 1/2 cup sugar. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds. Or, pour it into small plastic cups, cover each with aluminum foil, and insert a craft stick through the foil. Freeze and eat.

Chocolate-Dipped Trail Mix

3 cups nuts (peanuts, almonds, and pecans)

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup coconut flakes

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries

1 cup chocolate chips

Mix together the nuts, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, raisins, and dried cranberries or cherries. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave. Pour the chocolate over the baking
sheet in ribbons. Stir to coat everything. Let the chocolate cool, then break the mix into pieces and pack it in individual containers.

What’s one of your summertime favorites?