Our God is a welcoming God. He welcomes anyone and everyone who believes on Jesus into His family. While He lived on earth, Jesus always welcomed anyone into His presence or to wherever He was preaching at the time.
With Jesus as our example, we should never be shy about welcoming others. Whether it’s welcoming friends into our home, visitors into our church, or just saying hello to a stranger on the street, as Christians we should display the welcoming attitude of God.
To help you study this welcoming attitude of God, here are seven Bible verses to get you started:
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28
This verse epitomizes God’s welcoming attitude. This reminder was written to the early church. It went against their culture to welcome people different from themselves (Greeks, slaves, etc.) – just like in today’s world, there are some people we might find it hard to welcome based on our cultural expectations. But if someone is a believer in Christ, they are the same as we are, and should be welcomed.
“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” Matthew 5:46-48
This verse is about welcoming everyone, not just fellow Christians. This does not contradict the previous example, though – if anything, it takes the welcoming concept to the next logical step. It’s easy to welcome those like us (other Christians), but what about those who are so different that they’re not even believers? Welcoming those who have nothing in common with us should be one of the distinguishing marks of Christians.
“When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing.” Luke 9:11
If we’re to follow Jesus’ example, then we should be as welcoming as He is here. Not only did He treat the crowds with kindness by welcoming them, He did something for them – He told them about the Kingdom and He healed them. Being welcoming is more than just saying hello – it’s finding ways to bless people.
“When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them.” Acts 15:4
Here is another good illustration of Christians welcoming other Christians. In this case, “they” are Paul, Barnabas, and others traveling to Jerusalem on a mission for the newly-birthed church. This passage reminds us to be not just welcoming in general, but to welcome and serve workers in the church. Whether it’s a missionary, an elder, or the groundskeeper, anyone who works for the church should always be welcomed by other church workers and fellow believers.
“And thus you shall greet him: ‘Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have.” 1 Samuel 25:6
Peace – this is one of the simplest, easiest ways to ensure that you always have a welcoming attitude. Focus on peace – in your heart, your home, and in the words you say – and everyone around you will feel welcome.
If any verse serves as a blatant reminder about Jesus’ welcoming nature, this one is it. Jesus died for us so that we could be welcomed, sinless and reborn, into the presence of God. Dare we exclude or ignore others for our own petty reasons when Jesus sacrificed himself to make us welcome?
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Matthew 25:35-36
This is probably one of the most well-known verses about welcoming others. It speaks specifically to those who might initially be hard to welcome – the poor, the sick, or anyone who we consider “different.” But our kindness is not only a reflection on Christianity as a whole, but it’s a direct reflection on how we think about Jesus.
There are many more verses about welcoming other people – after all, the entire Bible is the story of how God has welcomed all of humanity. So the next time you find yourself wanting to exclude others for a selfish reason – or wanting to reach out but not sure how to do it – start with these seven verses. Now go make someone feel welcome today!
Article by Grace Robinson