Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Listen to this devotional:

1 Peter 4:9 – Welcome each other as guests without complaining. (GWT)

Hebrews 13:2 – Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. (NIV)

A while back, in our small group, we were talking about our spiritual gifts. We decided to do a survey to see what our individual spiritual gifts were. We realized that we all knew ourselves pretty well in that area. Some of us are teachers. Some are encouragers. Some are hospitable. Some are administrators. Nothing was a surprise to us. We concluded that we were using our spiritual gifts, even though we never really connected what we do to our having a spiritual gift.

I realized that I am an administrator — but also other gifts are present in my life to a lesser degree. How about hospitality? If that isn't our gift, does that mean that we have the excuse never, ever to be hospitable? I had to think that through because hospitality is not one of my gifts. Yes, I enjoy people; I love visiting, but usually in someone else's home suits me best. In today's texts, God does tell us to welcome each other as guests, and not complain.

I wrestled with God for a while about this. I do want to obey Him. I do want to serve Him. I can only do that with the strength that He has given me. I realized that God doesn't expect me to entertain others in my home every day, or even every week. But when the opportunity arises, I am to welcome others with a cheerful heart. I have noticed that people who have the gift of hospitality have visitors in their home often. They thrive on it. Thank God that they are using their gift. And I am the recipient of that gift often. I am blessed indeed by the hospitable people in my life.

Let's remember to serve God with the strength He gives us. Let's encourage and praise others for using their gifts, because it blesses us enormously.

Prayer: God, so many times, it is easy to justify why we do what we do with our spiritual gifts. Help us to serve You, no matter what it is we are doing. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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Judy Miller <>
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada

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