The steward's lifestyle

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The steward's lifestyle. Sunday 25 May

Stewards are those who recognize that God is the owner of all they have, their money, possessions, time, homes, bodies everything! Essentially a servant

Today look at how a steward is called to live, lifestyle of a servant, steward:

one word to describe this: Hospitality/ gasvry

Greek word for hospitality is Philoxenos- literally means: to befriend a stranger

Showing hospitality is not just demonstrating love for people but love for God. We show God we love him by the way we treat and love and befriend others.

Xenophobia- fear and hatred of strangers or anyone foreign, not like them.

People are being murdered because they are strangers in sa, refugees or other nationalities but the church is called to show friendship not hatred towards people.

Showing hospitality is the ability to love and accept others. In its purest form it involves opening up our homes to people but not limited to that.

When Queen Victoria reigned in England, she occasionally would visit some of the humble cottages of her subjects. One time she entered the home of a widow and stayed to enjoy a brief period of Christian fellowship.

Later on, the poor woman was taunted by her worldly neighbors. “Granny,” they said, “who’s the most honored guest you’ve ever entertained in your home?” They expected her to say it was Jesus, for despite their constant ridicule of her Christian witness, they recognized her deep spirituality. But to their surprise she answered, “The most honored guest I’ve entertained is Her Majesty the Queen.”

“Did you say the Queen? Ah, we caught you this time! How about this Jesus you’re always talking about? Isn’t He your most honored guest?” Her answer was definite and scriptural, “NO, indeed! He’s not a guest. HE LIVES HERE!”

Tan, P. L. (1996, c1979). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : A treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers. Garland TX: Bible Communications.

It is much easier to be able to open up our homes to people when we realize that Christ is the owner and master of our homes.

Difference between hospitality and entertaining:

Entertaining aims to impress. It says, "I want to impress you with my home, my clever decorating, my cooking." Hospitality aims to serve. Hospitality says, "This home is a gift from my Master. I use it as He desires."  Entertaining puts things before people. "As soon as I get the house finished, the living room decorated, my house- cleaning done - then I will start inviting people. Hospitality puts people first. "No furniture - we'll eat on the floor!" "The decorating may never get done - you come anyway." "The house is a mess - but you are friends - come home with us."

Entertaining subtly declares, "This home is mine, Look and admire."

Hospitality whispers, "What is mine is yours.

Scripture makes it plain that everyone is called to be hospitable.

1 peter 4:8-10, Romans 12:9-12 all christians

especially leaders one of the qualifications of an elder- 1 Tim 3

The enemies of hospitality:

  1. Busyness. Our lifestyles are so busy and pressurized we don't make the time to show meaningful hospitality.
  2. Our Culture. We live in an individualistic culture- all about looking after ourselves and our families- we over emphasize this. In african culture, wonderful sense of community- old african proverb- it takes a village to raise a child.
  3. Wrong understanding of church. We have been brought up to be believe the church operates through successful programs and events and a one man ministry- pastor does all the work rather than everyone genuinely loving and ministering to one another.
  4. Selfishness. We are selfish by nature! All of us! Eg when we have people over to stay- use our bedroom cause of the en suite, times get sick of not having my own bed. But it frees me up realizing that it belongs to the Lord anyway. 1 Peter 4:9 says show hospitality to one another without grumbling!

Where is this to be lived out? Where do we mainly show hospitality? 2 main places

In our homes, in our meetings

In our homes

Getting people into your home is very powerful- sends a message that you are interested in them. See Lydia Acts 16:15,40

If you struggle with hosting others in your home or to interact with others- take them out for coffee for starters, go somewhere else for a meal.

What are you good at?

Meals, coffee and games evenings, bring and braai, big groups, smaller groups

Don't have to spend money- each person brings something. You don't have to do what some do:

The largest single dish in the world is whole roasted camel. To celebrate a wedding or honor a visiting dignitary, Mohammedan tribes in the Arabian, Syrian and North African deserts usually give a feast whose main dish is—in size—without an equal. This is how it is “put together”:

The eggs are stuffed in fish, the fish stuffed in chickens, the chickens stuffed in sheep, and the roasted sheep stuffed into an entire camel.

Tan, P. L. (1996, c1979). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : A treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers. Garland TX: Bible Communications.


What times work best for you?

Plan a weekly slot, sunday lunches, sat breakfasts, 4pm teas, weeknight meal?

In our meetings

Ask you a question:

Who is responsible for seeing the church become loving towards others?

Each of us.

Although God is the master and we are his managers, stewards, he wants us to have an attitude of ownership- take responsibility for people, be our brothers keeper.

As a tip: see the church as something God has given you responsibility for. You are after all part of the body.

What you do affects the rest of the body: eg. If you are the foot but never bother showing up for meetings- the body will suffer. If the foot takes responsibility and says, if I function well the body will be effective.

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