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What Is Hospitality? (1 Peter 4:9)

Introductory Thoughts

On the surface, today’s passage does not offer a specific definition for the word hospitality, yet we are not left without clues. First of all, hospitality is something that is done “one to another.” This means that it is an action that should be done to other believers. It should also be done “without grudging.” Additional insight can be gleaned by considering hospitality’s root word, hospital. A basic definition for the word hospital involves a shelter for the needy or a place where the sick can recover. Thus, hospitality involves taking others in, even for a short time, to strengthen them in some area of need. Hospitality can be as simple as sharing a meal together or it may require more effort and time.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): God has always wanted His people to be kind and help others who have needs whether our own family, church family, or even those who are strangers (Leviticus 19:33-34). Read how Job helped others (Job 29:15-16b, Job 31:32). Can you think of some ways to help people?
  • (For everyone): What are some ways in which you can show hospitality to your brothers and sisters in Christ? How can the Lord use you in order to strengthen others in areas of need or areas of weakness?
  • How does hospitality present a strong testimony for Christianity? How could your hospitality lead others to desire to know more about Christ?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to give you a desire to be hospitable toward others.
  • Ask the Lord to help you see those in need of your hospitality.