Jesus was a master partier. No, He did not include unacceptable behavior in His gatherings. He just found that people take down their defenses when you sit down with them and eat. He was often found with the disciples feeding people or attending a party. His first miracle was done at a wedding feast. He enjoyed cooking on the beach with the disciples and even invited Himself over to Zaccheus’ house.
You too can get beyond the walls that people have erected by practicing some simple hospitality tips.
* See the people around you and pray that God reveals who you are to minister to.
* Simple is best. The person in front of you should be the focus, not the food or the preparations. There is some Martha preparation for every gathering, but you must have the Mary time of just sitting down and giving your guest your attention.
* People are not as concerned about the food you serve nor whether your home is perfect as long as they know you love and care about them.
* Listen to where they are.
* When the time is right, share the Hope that is in you. You may not share the “gospel message” until a trusting relationship is developed, but you can share what keeps you going and balanced from the beginning of your friendship.
* Be patient and allow God to reveal His timing.
No matter how you party, whether it is a pre-planned event or just an impromptu meeting for coffee, the main thing is to be willing to share the Hope that is in you (1 Pet. 3:15). If you live a life daily devoted to Christ, your life will reveal there is something different. Then just love the person God puts before you. Don’t try to change them, let Him do that.
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