Lutz Campus

18333 Exciting Idlewild Blvd.
Lutz, FL 33548

Idlewild at The Springs

8209 N 19th St
Tampa, FL 33604

Iglesia Bautista Idlewild

Main Campus, Student Building, Hall 2

Daily Living – Episode 59 – Bev Coney

Daily Living – Episode 59 – Bev Coney

Welcoming Grace

Author: Bev Coney

“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” (1 Peter 4:9)

Eric Geiger says that “Hospitality is the means by which the church, from the ground level, models the gospel to others.”

As we think about that statement, it sounds a bit disconnected. Is that accurate? Is hospitality truly modeling the gospel to others? Hospitality has the connotation of being light weight, not as significant or heavy duty as the gospel. After all the gospel is about the grace and truth of Jesus; extremely life changing and a very big deal! How can the beautiful picture of the gospel be connected to hospitality? At first glance that seems to be an inaccurate statement.

Wait… maybe there is a connection. Let’s consider for a moment that true biblical hospitality is about welcoming strangers and accepting them for who they are. Hospitality is about loving people as Jesus commanded in Matthew 22:39… You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

The Lord welcomed us in… he accepted us while we were strangers, outsiders and unbelievers.
When we are kind, when we smile, when we reach out to people who are strangers, we model the gospel. We are called to accept people as they are. In Matthew 22 it does not say, You shall love your beautiful neighbor, or your friendly neighbor, or the neighbor who is kind to you…there are no qualifiers in the command from Jesus. He says Love your Neighbor.

At Idlewild, when we move over to give someone a convenient seat, when we offer our hand in friendship, when we smile at others, when we greet and extend hospitality to strangers, we are modeling the gospel; we are reflecting what Jesus did for others. While we were strangers, he accepted us and welcomed us into His grace.

Let’s join together to model the gospel in our church. Let’s welcome strangers and outsiders in. Let’s make Idlewild a place where all people feel accepted and loved.

Hospitality reflects the heart of our savior!