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"Then Jesus said to his host, `When you give a luncheon or
dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your
rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be
repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the
lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you,
you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous"' (Luke 14:12-14)
Have you ever had some people in your life that were an oasis
to you? Perhaps it was a family friend, a neighbor or relative.
Some people just know how to help others recharge their batteries.
As a college student, I always accepted invitations to supply
preach when asked. The experience was good for me and there was always
a fringe benefit that came with the invitation--Sunday dinner. I
knew there would be fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and homemade yeast
bread. It sure beat the cafeteria food at the college.
At the time, the food was the main attraction--now as I look back
at it, it was the warm welcome that is my fondest memory. Those gracious
hosts always put the best they had on the table and treated me like royalty.
When we were first married, Susan and I would often go to some friends
home in Los Angeles for a couple of days at a time. I was working
full time and still in Seminary. We would retreat to our friends
whenever we were getting that Stress-out feeling. The welcome and
the love we found there would always recharge our batteries to enter back
into our stressful world.
I don’t think I can ever repay those kind people who sheltered,
nurtured and loved me during those early years. But then again, if
I know their hearts, they didn’t do it hoping that I would do something
in return–they did it because loving on me is one of the ways they showed
they loved their Lord. The best I can do is honor the memories by
showing the same hospitality to others.
Read the sermon that corresponds to this devotional at http://www.freshministry.org/011605.html.