What Is Invitation?
There is a spiritual gift that comes from the Spirit called hospitality, maybe you can think of someone who is exceptionally gifted in that area, someone who sets the example for you. One of the realities of spiritual gifts is that in some way each of us carries each of the gifts they just may not be as dominant as the others in our lives. So for me personally I am gifted with teaching, preaching, and prayer as my dominant gifts and hospitality is most certainly not in my top five gifts..... but that does not mean that I am not called to act in hospitality towards others.
Why Is Invitation Important?
Jesus frequently invited "tax collectors, and sinners" to share a meal with Him and did not follow Jewish customs when he did so(showing them hospitality). Jesus saw large crowds in need and "had compassion on them", Inviting them to receive both wisdom and food(again showing hospitality). When you take the gift of hospitality and break it down, what is left is simply someone who Invites someone to experience joy.
What Does Invitation Look Like?
This Invitation is not always something that involves bringing someone into your home (even though that is a great way to express love and joy to someone). Invitation is a lifestyle and it goes so much further then the walls of your home, it is the way you talk to the people in the store, the way you drive your car, the way you speak......Invitation is the way you choose to live your life when you know the truth about Jesus Christ.
How Can I Use Invitation this week........
Invite Genuine Care- This requires us to step out of our comfort zone and offer our time to someone(hospitality is offering remember). When is the last time you talked to that person? do you know how they are doing? are they going through anything? could you help? can you give them advice that might guide them? you'll never know unless you reach out.
Invite a Meaningful Conversation- Have you ever found yourself in a rush to get somewhere and then cut off someone who is trying to talk to you..... i know i have. When we take the time to listen to people you never know what you might learn. Your relationship with Jesus may be the answer to their struggle, or maybe its your life experience, or maybe its your connection to where they have been or where they are going..... you'll never know unless you listen to them.
Invite People To See You Care- Showing people that you care is not difficult, a simple example is when you go out to eat take the time to stack up the dirty dishes so that they don't have to and make their job easier. What will amaze you is just how much those little things matter to people. Let someone go in front of you at the store, Complement someone on the work they do, the list goes on and on.
Invite People To See Love- If you look around, you never know what you might see happening to people in your life. Is someone acting sad, does someone look alone? are they angry? With each of these questions comes a question that few take the time to investigate..... Why?
Invite Belonging- there are people who are really just looking for a place to belong, and looking for people who will care about them. Each of us has circles that we run in and if we are honest, inviting people into those circles is not hard to do so give it a try.
Serve others by inviting them to see Jesus.