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Invitation to Change

In her book The Gospel Comes With a House Key, Rosaria Butterfield says that those who are committed to ordinary yet radical hospitality are serious about biblical theology and at the same time very intentionally see their homes as a gift from God to be used to expand his Kingdom. It is in this context of opening the doors of our home to other people who are in need of radical transformation that believers live out the one another's of scripture. When this kind of culture happens the result is that Jesus Christ the Lord gets the glory that he deserves.

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Like me, I’d like to assume that you really like your normal circle of friends. These are the folks that it's easy to invite into our home because you just get along so well. It's always a pleasure to entertain them and the time always flies by and we're a little sad when it's time for them to go. But there is also another group of folks. These dear people may not quite see things eye to eye with you, on anything. Or, their personalities may just kind of rub you the wrong way. Time with them is less enjoyable perhaps even difficult. Whatever the case, we may be tempted to not extend an invitation or to complain when our spouse suggests that we should welcome them into our dispensary of grace.

But as stewards, as people who are given the job description of offering the grace of God in all its various forms, we can not, we must not let anything deter us from being hospitable. Yes, even to those who may be more awkward to spend time with. Who knows, you may also be on their list of difficult people! But as followers of Jesus the ultimate Steward of the grace of God, we must follow that example. The gospel is Jesus inviting us in to himself. So we must dispense the gospel. We must give them grace. We must help one another get from where we are to where we ought to be in relation to how our lives reflect our unity with and standing in Christ.

This is accomplished in two primary grace gifts; speaking and serving. Peter is not suggesting that it's one or the other. He is simply directing us to view our gift in one of two very broad categories. Considering the nearly fifty one another commands we find in the New Testament, we know that we are all called to serve one another and we are all called to speak the truth in love to one another. Both are ways of dispensing grace to those in need and yet you will likely have one of the two in which you are more comfortable and skilled.

When we began to practice and fulfill our spiritual gifts the result is that Christ is exalted and God is glorified. How does this happen? When we serve one another well we exemplify Christ serving his bride, the church. When we speak God's grace to others we are helping people see where they are and how to get to where they ought to be, resting in Christ alone. This, loved ones, is the heart of the gospel. We have a responsibility to one another for the sake of the Gospel and God’s glory. Here at Light City Bible Church we invite you to join us as we engage in transformational community; becoming more like Christ together.

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