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Summary: The most important thing you can do in serving the Lord is not serving the Lord. Living for Jesus is more about “being” than “doing.”

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Christian Hospitality

Luke 10:38-42

James 2:1-4

The most important thing you can do in serving the Lord is not serving the Lord. Living for Jesus is more about “being” than “doing.”

When I was a student at Central College I had a classmate who was an outstanding student. After he graduated from College he became a principal of a Junior High School in Shawnee Mission Kansas.

When I graduated from Asbury Seminary he called me and told me that he had talked to the Kansas Superintendent of the Free Methodist Churches in Kansas and received his permission to invite me to become pastor of the Kansas City, Kansas First Church. After some days of prayer we finally accepted. What challenged me was what he said. “We don’t have a pastor and the church may have to close if we don’t find one.”

I served five years in Kansas City. My second year my college friend became the Director of our Sunday School. He was also active in working with me to raise funds to build a new parsonage and church. He told me he would do all he could to serve the Lord since he could not afford to tithe and give any of his money to support the ministries of the church.

Years later I talked to his wife at a Central College Class reunion and she told me that she was no longer married. Her husband had left her for another man. He was then serving as Superintendent of School in the Leavenworth, Kansas area. He was willing to serve but he did not service from a heart of love for the risen Lord.

The story found in Luke 10:38-42 is about the priority of “being” rather “doing.” Two sisters demonstrated hospitality in different ways.

In this story we see that Christian Hospitality is about heart-felt ministry.

Christian Hospitality first welcomes Jesus into your heart.

I. Welcome Jesus into Your Heart

“Mary sat at Jesus feet, listening to what Jesus taught.” Luke 10:39

Christian Hospitality means just that. Out of a heart of love for Christ and others we invite people into our homes for fellowship. Martha had the gift of hospitality and she invited Jesus into her home for dinner and fellowship. Martha had the gift of hospitality and when Jesus arrived she continued to prepare the meal for her guest. Jesus didn’t criticize her for her service.

Mary may have started helping her sister prepare the meal and then when Jesus came she left the kitchen and sat at the feet of Jesus listening to his teachings. Martha must have felt abandoned and called out to Jesus, “Lord is it no concern to you that my sister has left me to serve alone?”

From a human point of view, Martha had a legitimate complaint. But Jesus made it clear that “being in His Presence” and being a fully devoted disciple has precedence over doing good works.

We shouldn’t be too hard on Martha. She didn’t know Jesus was only going to have a short three year public ministry. If Martha knew that Jesus was not going to be with them for a longer time she might have also set at His feet listening to his teachings.

Jesus looked at life from a Kingdom perspective. We tend to look at life from a human perspective. We tend to put the task or activity over the importance of heart felt relationships. We get up in the morning and look over our to-do list and determine that we have too much to do and need to skip our time of devotions of Bible reading and prayer.


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