October 20, 2004
Encouragement for Today
Creating a Welcoming Guest Room
By Glynnis Whitwer
Senior Editor P31 Woman, Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker, firstname.lastname@example.org
"She said to her husband, 'I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. Let's make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.'" II Kings 4:9-10 (NIV)
When my sister Paula lived out of state, I loved to stay at her home. Not only was it great to be with family, but Paula's home invited me to rest and her thoughtful touches showed her love for me. I was always blessed by staying at her home. As the holiday season approaches, we have the opportunity to bless our overnight guests with small gestures that show we care.
In II Kings, chapter four, we read about a woman in the town of Shunem who went out of her way to create a welcoming guest room for Elisha, a prophet of God. She made up a space on her roof (I'm guessing it was flat) and put a bed, table, chair, and lamp for Elisha to use whenever he traveled to Shunem. The Shunemite woman's hospitality meant so much to Elisha that he asked God to give her a child, and God fulfilled that request.
We may not all have the luxury of a private room for our guests, but we can see to their comfort and offer some pampering as well. I know from the experience of being a guest how hospitality can convey God's love in a personal way.
When preparing a place for your guests, try to anticipate their needs. Some guest room niceties include an alarm clock, a lamp, a Bible, a devotional book, light reading materials like magazines, extra blankets or pillows, a fan, room to hang clothes with hangers, and a place to set a suitcase.
When I have guests, I like to prepare a basket of lotions, hair products, and other toiletry items. I place this in the bathroom with a note inviting my guests to "please use" the items. Another idea is to place pre-packaged snacks and candies in a basket, and put the basket in the guest area. Often travelers might like a snack late at night, but don't want to ask the hosts.
In your kitchen, you might consider creating a drink center on a pretty tray. Include mugs, spoons, instant coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cream, and sugar. Place the tray near a microwave or the stove. Stock your fridge with cold drinks and invite your guests to help themselves. I love it when someone remembers I like Diet CokeTM!
Our homes can become a ministry tool as we take the time to plan for the comfort of our guests. As they experience our love for them, let it be our prayer that they are drawn to the Creator of Love - God. As you prepare for this holiday season, begin to pray for the guests who will visit your home. Pray that their hearts will be open to receive all that God has for them.
My prayer for today:
Heavenly Father, I praise You for Your love for all people. Help me to see my home as a ministry to those who will be my guests this holiday season. I pray that they will be drawn to You as they experience godly hospitality in my home. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Identify a room or a space in your home where guests will reside. Begin to clean and organize that space. Purchase items now that will help create a welcoming guest room. Pray for your future guests, even if you don't know who they are right now.
Remember a time when you were a guest in someone's home. What meant the most to you?
How can your home be a ministry tool to guests?
How might Christian hospitality differ from entertaining?
How can you show God's love to those in your home?
What are some other ways you can create a welcoming guest room?
"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it." Hebrews 13:2 (NIV)
"Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality." Romans 12:13 (NIV)
"Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling." I Peter 4:9 (NIV)
"Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain." Psalm 127:1 (NIV)
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