2 minute read.
Daily Verse: “When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them.” (Acts 15:4 ESV)
APARADECHOMAI (588): “To take fully, i.e., welcome (persons), approve (things). To welcome, to accept gladly, to receive without reserver.”[i]
Paul and Barnabas travel to Jerusalem to settle the matter of circumcision. Jewish tradition required it. Gentiles didn’t. Following Christ united them and caused a debate that needed settling. Since God gave the Gentiles the Holy Spirit without circumcision, it became unnecessary.
Arriving in Jerusalem, the apostles felt welcomed by Peter’s church. Gladly, the people accepted them into their midst. Following Jesus will develop your hospitality muscle, whether you like it or not.
Christ welcomes all into the kingdom of God. People choose to decline the invitation. As messengers of Jesus’s gift to humanity, we must welcome others into His presence. If we don’t gladly accept others, we’ll miss the opportunity to share Christ’s love.
Ice and ottoman.
Playing in his regular men’s tennis league, Ron hurt his knee. We traveled to South Carolina for his work the following day, combining it with a visit to our Life Community Church family. When I texted to let them know our progress, I asked for prayer for Ron’s knee. The reply text welcomed us with open arms:
“…we’ll have ice packs and an ottoman ready for him to relax and rehab when he gets here!”
Welcoming others gladly comes naturally from our LCC family. In the past twenty years of friendship, they’ve welcomed us many times. As a result, our relationship with Jesus grows as we learn more about Him through their hospitality.
See a need, meet a need. Nothing will convey Christ’s love more than helping others deal with the frustrations of this world. As you do, you’ll have the opportunity to share the news about eternal life with Christ.
[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 35) Thomas Nelson