The Transforming Power of Hospitality

Where I found this picture:  Cedar Point Church
Where I found this picture: CedarPointChurch.org

I have been all over the world, and I have often been the recipient of hospitality in my ministry travels. On more than one occasion I have been blown away by the generosity of others.

One of my passions is to spread the ideas of a Biblical Christian Worldview. As I have studied the Bible about this, I have been pleasantly surprised about how many real and practical things can be lived out in day to day life to see the Kingdom of God advanced in the earth!

One of those areas is hospitality!

You might not think you can do much to advance the gospel, but you never know how much is happening when you simply share your life, your home, and basic Christian hospitality with your neighbors.

You might desire to be a great evangelist. You want to see lives changed by the Love of God.

Start with a cup of cold water, a few minutes sitting in your living room over snacks with a neighbor, helping someone carry in their groceries.

A Christian Transformational Worldview starts with the little things!

My heart cry to God:

“Father, I need your heart for my neighbors! I need your heart to have a more open home and a more sharing heart!”

I was inspired to think about this today by this article at AmericanVision.org:

“What if I told you that Christian hospitality was a necessary key to reclaiming our culture for Christ? It may sound a bit extreme, but if you think about it for a minute it makes sense. Influence flows over time to those who serve. As Christians more effectively show hospitality by opening their lives to and serving others they will begin to affect their surrounding communities and culture at a very fundamental level.”  [Read More]

What About That Prosperity Gospel Thing?

*This article is a follow up to this one: http://jondavisjr.com/2012/05/03/christianity-causes-prosperity/

Gary Brumbelow responded to my comments at the Darrow Miller and Friends Blog here: http://darrowmillerandfriends.com/2012/05/10/does-dna-teach-the-prosperity-gospel/

Thanks for the thoughts Mr. Brumbelow!

Here are the comments I left in response to that article:

Well, now I feel special. 🙂

Thanks for your response.

I found this very interesting:

Elizabeth Youmans, points out, “Prosper” in the Hebrew does not necessarily refer to material wealth, but means “to accomplish what is intended by God.”

It seems that in Christ prosperity flows from the internal to the external. I love the way it is said in the greeting in 3rd John:

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3rd John 1:2 – http://bg4.me/3_John_1_2_NKJV

I believe that this includes material prosperity as well as soul prosperity, but not in the sense of it being a formula or a right. It is more like a “tendency.” It is also quite natural. Being changed on the inside leads to living differently on the outside. Living according to God’s principles tends to produce God’s results (unless He permits testing or persecution, of course).

So I am looking for the right way to say it to try and remove the stumbling blocks from those who have prosperity-gospel-phobia. 🙂

I think I would say it like this:

If you seek God before all else and live life according to His instructions you will prosper in your soul and you will also tend to prosper materially in the temporal world. This should not be misconstrued to mean that Christians should live for earthly riches, neither should it be misconstrued as a guaranteed escape from suffering and persecution in the “here and now.”

What do you think? (or what does anybody passing by this way think?) Is that a good way to say it? Am I missing anything?

Somehow this needs to be included:

Doing things God’s way works better – both in eternity and in the here-and-now.
I see several areas of difference between pop-prosperity and truth.

  1. Prosperity Gospel makes prosperity seem almost as something that results from superstition; truth includes the requirement to live according to God’s instructions.
     
  2. Prosperity Gospel seems to ignore the idea of “taking up your cross and following.” Truth includes this idea.
     
  3. Prosperity Gospel seems to be focused on “me” having a better life. Truth seems more focused on being equipped by God to fulfill His destiny for oneself.
     
  4. Prosperity Gospel seems to see material prosperity as something that can be gained and guaranteed by following a spiritual formula. Truth requires natural formulas (work ethic, integrity, wisdom, etc.) as well. Truth also acknowledges persecution and suffering in the temporal reality. (Ok, I know this is kind of another way to say #1)
     
  5. Prosperity Gospel seems to see material prosperity as a right; truth seems to see material prosperity as a natural tendency resulting from doing things according to how God designed them to be done.

🙂

I’ve already gotten some warnings to beware of the word “prosperity.” But, wow, the Bible sure has a lot to say about all kinds of prosperity, and it seems that material prosperity is included in that content.

Christianity Causes Prosperity

wealth_or_poverty
Does God care if you are rich or poor?
How are we to view wealth and prosperity
from a Christian Perspective?

Several times over the years I have seen some Christians react negatively to the idea expressed in the title of this article.  Make the claim that living out Christianity will tend to cause all kinds of prosperity

Faith that Lasts – Jon (5/4/2008)

Jon shares at a Youth Home Group in Aurora, Oregon about the Character of God and having a real faith in God that lasts for a lifetime and forever.

Faith, Feeling, or Circumstance? – Jon (6/5/2007-CMI)

Jon taught this message at Campus Missions International on June 5, 2007. It is just under 1 hour long.