JUL
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Daily Bible Reading - kindly provided by Premier and the Bible Society

Do have a look at the Premier Daily Bible reading below. It is really so good. 

[Lydia] and her household were baptised, and she asked us to be her guests. “If you agree that I am a true believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my home.” And she urged us until we agreed.


Friday 12 July

Acts 16:15
Paul’s first convert in Europe was a businesswoman. Lydia came from what we now know as western Turkey and was a dealer in the purple cloth that her home area was famous for. As Paul travelled around, he normally began his ministry in a synagogue, but it would seem that there wasn’t one in Philippi. So he went to the river where he met up with a group of women who met together to pray. As Paul spoke with them, Lydia responded to his message and was baptised. It is fascinating to see that her first response was to offer hospitality, and it seems that she was very insistent.

Hospitality was crucial for the early Church because there were no Christian buildings for many years. The only way they could meet was if people generously opened up their homes. Our homes are interesting places aren’t they? In many ways they are an extension of our personalities, and it is possible to become extremely possessive of our homes. The phrase “their home is their castle” isn’t a joke. It conveys the profound truth that, for most of us, our home is a place of safety and comfort. We long to go home at the end of the day and to relax with those we love and where we feel secure. It is, therefore, very easy for us to be selfish with our homes and to use them merely as a way of satisfying our own needs. However, the New Testament encourages us to open up the door of our homes. It is good if we have a loving and secure home. It is a gift of God. But it’s a gift that needs to be shared. In recent years my family has had the privilege of fostering. At first it felt like a big thing to do but it has actually proved to be a huge blessing to us. We have been made richer through sharing the gift of our home. In common with all God’s gifts, our homes are given so that we can give them away.


QUESTION

In what ways have you experienced the blessing of Christian hospitality?

PRAYER

God our Father, I thank you for the gift of my home and for the privilege of being able to share it with others. Amen


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