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In this season of holiday entertaining, I would like to challenge you to think a little differently about entertaining & hospitality. Rather than thinking about parties as entertaining and only inviting our best friends or family, our focus should be on hospitality instead. We should be more open with our invitations and include some that we don’t know well yet. New friends who would enjoy our hospitality and perhaps even need it. We can use our hospitality to minister to others and in return, reap spiritual rewards for our family too.
Romans 12:13 says, "we are to practice hospitality." According to Hebrews 13:2, we are even to "pursue the love of strangers" not simply offer hospitality to our friends. If we want to demonstrate obedience to our heavenly Father, we will choose to practice hospitality.
We are reminded in Hebrews 13:2 that our willingness to extend hospitality may have far-reaching implications. Think of those who have entertained angels unaware throughout the Bible.
III John 7-8 challenges us to extend hospitality to those involved in ministry for our Lord. It is exciting to know that as we share our homes and resources with our Lord's servants, we become an active part of their ministry.
You may be saying “but chef, isn’t it the same thing?” Not at all-while both involve having people over and feeding them- having a party, if you will- entertaining and showing hospitality are different in mindset and motivation. Let me explain:
Entertaining is fundamentally "me-focused."
· It has the feel of a show and its heart is in impressing other people either visually or with a meal.
· It is embarrassed if something "goes wrong" or doesn't fit the kind of reputation it is trying to project or protect.
· It is essentially prideful and hopes to be repaid.
· It carries an air of formality that prohibits spiritual intimacy and fellowship.
· It tends not to associate with the "lowly."
Biblical hospitality is humble.
· It attempts to make people feel comfortable; creating an atmosphere where people can be themselves, fellowship together, and where ministry can take place.
· It doesn't seek to hide areas of weakness or flaws - these are assumed.
· It recognizes that the importance of any other person rests in their having been made in the image of God, not their social status.
· It is servant hood that desires God to receive glory by time spent with others.
· It is open to the needy and doesn't seek repayment.
· It points unbelievers and those who are weak toward the Gospel.
So, this year, let's learn to pursue Biblical hospitality and share our home with others. Give to those around us like it's the open door to ministry. It allows us to show the love of God in a real, tangible way. It also reveals to those who may not know the Lord the different ‘feel’ of a home that abounds with His love and Spirit. Plus it may just plant the seeds that will lead them to know Jesus.
Chef Phillip Dell is proprietor of Sin City Chefs and he was a champion on Season 15 of "Chopped" on Food Network.
He's worked at Wynn Las Vegas, Grand Traverse Resort, Benedicts in Las Vegas & many other restaurants. He's also a culinary instructor at Rancho High School in Las Vegas. Connect with Phillip on Facebook.com/ChefPhillipDell