Priscilla Van Sutphin

   Years ago, the Lord had spoken a word to my husband and I when we were doing an adult victims of alcoholics group in our home like a cell group...Christian home group...."Hospitality" so I remember looking it up....and here is what I found....As you read the scriptures ask the Lord to open your heart to the truth...and if you have not already, to help you repent for our nation, where we have fallen short....note there is a curse for NOT doing what the scriptures command.....and that curse needs to be broken on our land by us not just mouthing words, but applying into action, what is written in the scriptures. Also note in the scriptures how tithes were used...what the intent was....that is an area also of which the church needs to repent.

This quote is taken straight from Vines :

In oriental lands, and still in some countries of belated civilization, it was and is felt to be a sacred duty to receive, feed, lodge, and protect any traveler who might stop at the door.  The stranger was treated as a guest and men who had thus eatten together were bound to each other by the strongest ties of friendship, which descended to their heirs, confirmed by mutual presents.  With the Greeks, hospitality  (Leviticus 19:34).  The present practice of the Arabs is the nearest approach to the ancient Hebrew hospitality. A traveler may sit at the door of a perfect stranger and smoke his pipe until the master welcomes him with an evening meal, and may tarry a limited number of days without inquiry as to his purposes, and depart with a simple " God be with you" as his only compensation.   As the Hebrews became more numerous, inns were provided, but these did not supercede home hospitality.  The Old testament illustrations of it are in Genesis 18:1-8,  19:1-3,  24:25, 31-33.

    Job says (31:32), " The stranger did not lodge in the street, but I opened my doors to the traveler." The neglect of the law of hospitality is illustrated in the case of the Rich man and Lazarus ( Luke 16: 19_25).
    The spirit of Christian hospitality is taught in the New Testament ( Luke 13:12-14)
The Greek word philoxenos filoxenos  ( a lover of strangers ) is the word for hospitality in Titus 1:8;  1 Peter 4:9 and  philoxenia  filoxenia  (love of strangers) in Romans 12:13; and Hebrews 13:2.   ( VINES)

This is where our word Philadelphia comes from....amazing isn't it how we are falling short of what the true meaning is.  We have become a society that is so much more concerned with self....and of course there is the factor of violence in society which influences our fear of showing love and kindness....but Jesus said LOVE is the greatest...   We need, as a church, overall to consider those who come into our churches new as precious gifts of GOD, who HE has brought for us to demonstrate His love to....and those we meet in the streets, whom we don't know, as another child of God who needs to know the love of their heavenly Father.  Have you invited someone new to dinner at your home of late ?  There is a saying I heard once, I don't know from whom, but think it was Jill Briscoe...First God opens your heart, then He opens your home....

Holy Scriptures  ( all New King James Version)

Gen 18:1-8 NKJV 
Then the LORD appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day.  So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to theground,  and said, My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant.  Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.   And I will bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh your hearts. After that you may pass by, inasmuch as you have come to your servant. They said, Do as you have said.  So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, Quickly,make ready three measures of fine meal; knead it and make cakes.  And Abraham ran to the herd, took a tender and good calf, gave it to a young man,and he hastened to prepare it.  So he took butter and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree as they ate. 

Genesis 19:1   NKJV 
Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. 2  And he said, Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant's house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way. And they said, No, but we will spend the night in the open square.3  But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. 

Gen 24:22-26
So it was, when the camels had finished drinking, that the man took a golden nose ring weighing half a shekel, and two bracelets for her wrists weighing ten shekels of gold, 23  and said, Whose daughter are you? Tell me, please, is there room in your father's house for us to lodge?  24 So she said to him, I am the daughter of Bethuel, Milcah's son, whom she bore to Nahor.  25 Moreover she said to him, We have both straw and feed enough, and room to lodge.

Job 31:31-32   If the men of my tent have not said,'Who is there that has not been satisfied with his meat?'   (But no sojourner had to lodge in the street, For I have opened my doors to the traveler);

Luke 16:19-25   NKJV
There was a certain rich man who was clothed inpurple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20  But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate,  21  desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table.Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22  So it was that the beggar died,and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23  And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw  Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24  Then he cried and said, 'FatherAbraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.' 25 But  Abraham said, 'Son, remember that in your life time you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 

Luke 14:7-1  So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them:   8   When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; 9  and he who invited you and him come and say toyou, 'Give place to this man,' and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10  But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, 'Friend, go up higher.' Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you.11 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. 12 Then He also said to him who invited Him, When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. 14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.

Titus 1:6-8   For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8  but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled,

1 Peter 4:7-10
But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Rom 12:9-13   Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.  Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation,continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

Rom 12:20-21   Therefore  If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink;For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on hishead.  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. 

Heb 13:1-3     Let brotherly love continue.  Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. Remember the prisoners as if chained with them--those who are mistreated--since you yourselves are in the body also.

Deut 10:17-19  For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords,the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing. Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Deut 26:12-14    When you have finished laying aside all the tithe of your increase in the third year--the year of tithing--and have given it to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat within your gates and be filled, then you shall say before the LORD your God:  'I have removed the holy tithe from my house, and also have given them to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed Your commandments, nor have I forgotten them. 

Deut 27:18-19   Cursed is the one who perverts the justice due the stranger, the fatherless, and widow.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen!'

Ex 22:21-24  You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.  You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child.  If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry; and My wrath will become hot, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless. 

Ex 23:9   Also you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt. 

Ex 23:10-12   Six years you shall sow your land and gather in its produce, but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave, the beasts of the field may eat. In like manner you shall do with your vineyard and your olive grove. 

Prov 23:6-8 Do not eat the bread of a miser,nor desire his delicacies; For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.  Eat and drink!  he says to you, But his heart is not with you. The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up, And waste your pleasant words.

Isa 58:6-9       Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?   Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh?   Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you;The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, 'Here I am.

Luke 22:25-27 And He said to them, the kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called 'benefactors.'  But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.

John 13:4-5   After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.

John 13:14-15   If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example,that you should do as I have done to you.

Acts 2:41-47   And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread,and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. 

If we want favor with people (which we are lacking)  this also should be our modus operendi...instead of hoarding to share, instead of value others...we need to take authority over the apathy, complacency, and somnolence that is over our land....especially over the church....and ask God to break our selfishness....I say this to myself as well as to anyone else....we have a tendency to DO, then feel good and become complacent...or to do the right things, not in obedience to God, but out of a sense of obligation...If we ask God what He wants us to do...He will give us the ideas and the orders for how we can apply this....

Acts 4:32-37  Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostle gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles' feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement),  a Levite of the country of Cyprus, having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet. 

Rom 16:1-2   I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also. 

1 Tim 5:8-10  Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man, well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints' feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work. 

3 John 5-8   Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers, who have borne witness of your love before the church. If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well, because they went forth for His name's sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles. We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth.

Matt 25:34-46   Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come,you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;  I was naked andyou clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'   Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we seeYou hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?   When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?  Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'  And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'  

Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;  I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.'   Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?'  Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'    And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. 

2 Sam 9:6-10:1    Now when Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, had come to David, he fell on his face and prostrated himself. Then David said, Mephibosheth? And he answered, Here is your servant!  So David said to him, Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father's sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.  Then he bowed himself, and said, What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I ?   And the king called to Ziba, Saul's servant, and said to him, I have given to your master's son all that belonged to Saul and to all his house. You therefore, and your sons and your servants, shall work the land for him, and you shall bring in the harvest, that your master's son may have food to eat. But Mephibosheth your master's son shall eat bread at my table always. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. Then Ziba said to the king, According to all that my lord the king has commanded his servant, so will your servant do.  As for Mephibosheth,said the king, he shall eat at my table like one of the king's sons. Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Micha. And all who dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants of Mephibosheth. So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem, for he ate continually at the king's table. And he was lame in both his feet. 

If there was anyone who had a right to be angry at the house of Saul it was David...Saul pursued him relentlessly to kill him...yet here we see the love of God manifested in the 'man after God's own heart'....poured out upon Mephibosheth, Saul's grandson....and Jonathon's son.  Now David loved Jonathon who was faithful to David, yet also tried to stay faithful to his father....but because Jonathon protected is a blessing to his son....David spares his life and not only that...he eats sumptuously at Davids table...continually for the rest of his life....what a wonderful picture of how God takes us, the lame, regardless of our past inheritance in sin etc....and through the blood of Jesus....we can also eat sumptuously at the King of King's table every day....receiving fresh manna at the feet of our King....receiving His love and approval...And Mephibosheth....did not come to David bragging on how he should inherit this favor....but humble, and lowly, as a servant to the King.

Josh 2:1-16 Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, Go, view the land, especially Jericho. So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there.  And it was told the king of Jericho, saying,  Behold, men have come here tonight from the children of Israel to search out the country. So the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying,  Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the country. Then thewoman took the two men and hid them. So she said,  Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from.  And it happened as the gate was being shut, when it was dark, that the men went out. Where the men went I do not know; pursue them quickly, for you may overtake them. (But she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order on the roof.)  Then the men pursued them by the road to the Jordan, to the fords. And as soon as those who pursued them had gone out, they shut the gate.  Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, and said to the men: I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you.  For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed.  And as soon as we heard these things,our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. 
Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the LORD, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father's house, and give me a true token, and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.  So the men answered her,  Our lives for yours, if none of you tell this business of ours. And it shall be, when the LORD has given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with you. Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall; she dwelt on the wall. And she said to them, Get to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you. Hide there three days,until the pursuers have returned. Afterward you may go your way.

Dearest Father,   deliver our nation and forgive our sins which are many, that we may receive your refreshing once again...forgive us for the violence, for the murder and hatred we have had to aliens, to strangers, and towards each other.  We have harbored evil thoughts even to our fellow Christians and our own families Lord....we have not fed the poor as we should.  We have not housed the homeless.  We have not repaired, and bound up the wounds of the brokenhearted.  We have not cared for the widows and single mothers as we should.  We have been selfish and self centered and fearful of losing what we have.  We have thought of ourselves as better than the rest ...and for this we ask Your forgiveness...for our pride and arrogance....for our thinking our ways are Your ways Father...We have not sought you on these things....we have chosen so many of us to ignore the plight of our brothers and sisters in other lands and our storehouses are bare....Father forgive us, and give the money into the hands of the Josephs, who can be trusted with lend  and give to those who have less....Help us to lay down our lives...that we might have LIFE again...Your LIFE living in us....being poured others .  Give us YOUR love for the lost. Your love for the unlovely...those who are not like us....Father we need Your love...more than anything...APART FROM YOU WE CAN DO NOTHING GOOD !   Come down Lord, rend the heavens and come us to pour ourselves out for Your cause...and to no longer try to build our own kingdoms...
Forgive us Lord for taking the Glory as our own....Repair our hearts from the hurts and arrows thrown at us by others, even in Your flock who have disregarded us...Father, help us to forgive as YOU forgive and to receive Your peace...Your patience and forbearance....Give us Your heart that we might act according to Your word....Direct our hearts into the love of God and the patience of Christ Jesus...

 The Testimony of Aristedes

Aristides, a Christian from Athens, wrote this in defense of Christians to the Emperor Hadrian in the year 125 AD... "they love one another, and from widows they do not turn away their esteem; and they deliver the orphan from him who treats him harshly. And he, who has, gives to him who has not, without boasting. And when they see a stranger, they take him in to their homes and rejoice over him as a very brother; for they do not call them brethren after the flesh, but brethren after the spirit and in God. And whenever one of their poor passes from the world, each one of them according to his ability gives heed to him and carefully sees to his burial. And if they hear that one of their number is imprisoned or afflicted on account of the name of their Messiah, all of them anxiously minister to his necessity , and if it is possible to redeem him they set him free. And if there is among them any that is poor and needy, and if they have no spare food, they fast two or three days in order to supply to the needy their lack of food. They observe the precepts of their Messiah with much care, living justly and soberly as the Lord their God commanded them. Every morning and every hour they give thanks and praise to God for his lovingkindnesses toward them; and for their food and their drink they offer thanksgiving to Him."