Jesus is the True and Better Host
I might try a number of strategies to fix my greed/pride/selfishness problem, but true repentance is elusive in my self-motivated strategies to become a more hospitable person. So what can effect lasting change in my heart? God’s kindness is meant to lead us to repentance (Rom. 2:4). There is a God-directed thankfulness that is a durable gratitude in the face of want and need. When grief over our sin and thankfulness for the gift of grace meet together at the cross, a powerful work of transformation occurs in our hearts. If we know we are already saved by the work that Christ has done on the cross, we can have gutsy confidence in Christ to cheerfully, sacrificially give to others. When we behold the promises of God in Christ by faith, we repent of our sin and rejoice in Jesus!
Jesus is the true and better host, who calls us into God’s very presence through the sacrifice of his own body. Christ our Lord gives us the greatest picture of hospitality that the world has ever seen. Jesus gave his life so we could be guaranteed a place in his Father’s house forever. He defeated the darkness so we could live in the city that is lit by the light of the Lamb. Now, that’s biblical hospitality! Because of Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross, God welcomes us spiritual orphans into his forever family.
But not only is Jesus the epitome of hospitality; he is also our Savior. His record of perfect hospitality is credited to us as we receive his righteousness by faith. His hospitable work on the cross makes it possible for God to forgive our sins. The heavenly hospitality of the holy Trinity is the grandest gesture of selflessness, openness, humility, generosity, and love that the world has ever seen. God does open-heart surgery on us so that we can have open homes to his glory.
Think of it: God the Father designed a plan to redeem fallen humanity, restoring us to a right relationship with him, and will eventually glorify us to sinless perfection so that we might worship him for all eternity. God the Son humbled himself in the incarnation and entered into his own creation, taking up residence in a womb he created. In his life he exemplified great humility as he faced our every temptation in order to become our Great High Priest. In his death he humbled himself on the cross and bore our sins as a criminal although he never sinned.
And though we have spurned his perfect witness to the greatness of God’s glory since the fall in the garden of Eden, the Holy Spirit generously continues his ministry of convicting the world of sin, lovingly administers God’s common grace, and humbly takes up residence in the hearts of the redeemed children of God. We see through God’s hospitality how he is committed to making his glory central in the story of redemption.
Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home releases this May and is available for pre-order through Amazon.