>Bread of Angels by Elizabeth DeBarros

>Today my dear friend Elizabeth Debarros , a very special friend to me, shares with us from her heart and from the Word of God a doctrine that in the business of our days we often despise and it is absolutely important in the life of the Christian women.

I long to sit at your table, my friend!

Photo courtesy of Anna Gibson @ akginspiration.com

He rained down manna for the people to eat,
He gave them the grain of heaven.
Human beings ate the bread of angels;
He sent them all the food they could eat.
-Psalm 78:24-25 NIV
Bread of angels for breakfast?
Yes.
For lunch and supper, too.
I’ve never known God to skimp. When He gives, He gives only the best. When He gives, He gives more than enough. Ho-hum is not how I would describe His hospitableness, either. What lessons we can learn from God’s table — take your pick!
I’ve been asking God to teach me how to be generous as He is generous, hospitable as He’s hospitable. To learn from the best is to learn well, but I must be teachable. God’s school is the hands-on-learning type, so I need to be willing, too.
And let my yes be yes.
I also want to hold nothing back, just as He holds nothing back. Why else is Eden still the gold standard for the average backyard gardener? Exactly how many varieties of heirloom tomatoes does a family need? Surely, abundance is indicative of His blessing, but when life doles out only a meager supply, God comes through with a touch of class and, dare I say, invention. Even long-term drought didn’t stop Elijah from having his meals delivered next day air by ravens.
God’s ability to finesse a moment always points to His glory — the multiplying of bread and fish, changing water into wine — all miraculous signs — not to impress but to feed and still a hungry crowd. Perhaps later some would come to understand what Jesus meant when He referred to Himself as the Bread of Life. Meantime, the disciples were learning to trust and obey, give out of their lack. And the wine? Well, for one, God loves a celebration to last a good long while. Eternity never leaves His mind.
But sometimes I wonder if this saying is also true: “Some people can be so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good.” I hope not, but we can spend a lot of time talking about God, learning about God, and even thinking about and praying to God but still find it hard to invite a neighbor over for a cup of tea. “Crazy busy” may well be an excuse, but it’s not a good one. When “the house” and stuff like decorating, dogs and shopping lists become the gauge for frittering away our days, we do well to remember the time when Jesus stuck His head into the kitchen:
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, 
 “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.
Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
-Luke 10:41-42 (NIV)
Let’s learn the lesson here. Jesus wasn’t implying that hospitality was irrelevant. He was letting Martha know that priorities give off a flavor all their own. The difference between preparing a simple meal in a spirit of love and prayer and a lavish spread simmering in fury is evident to all. What goes on in the kitchen is tantamount to what happens in the prayer room, but things go best when the latter serves the former. After all, Mary and Martha were sisters, and probably very good for each other.
From Scripture, we know that God is a God Who ministers to the whole man. And I think it’s reasonable to say that He intends for us to have a prayer life and supper ready. Study His Word and get the laundry done. All in the same day. But to what end, ultimately?
Perhaps to feed and still a hungry crowd, one person at a time.
That’s why I don’t want to know my neighbors only from afar. I want to get close, look in their eyes, breathe the same air, listen to their story, tend their wounds if they’re willing. I want to feed them, pour something hot for them to drink when it’s cold outside, something fizzy over ice when blazing. Talk a while. Tell them about my Jesus.
So often, before I’m aware of what’s happening, before I even mention His Name, I’m inviting them in.
And I’m learning that a cup of tea and a little sympathy goes a long way when bread is offered, too.
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers,
for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
-Hebrews 13:2
Elizabeth
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Author’s Commentary: Certain attributes of God, such as holy, righteous and majestic, often take precedence in our minds over the rest, if only for their “otherness.” For He alone is holy, righteous, and majestic. However, it’s important to acknowledge His many other attributes and understand that they are no less important. Based solely on Scripture, both generosity and hospitality also belong on the list of His divine attributes. As we allow a theology of generosity and hospitality to broaden our thinking, we learn to make them accessible, as Scripture exhorts us to practice such. These virtues not only adorn the Christian lifestyle, they’re pleasing sacrifices to God, bringing Him pleasure and much glory. Approaching this topic from a whole Bible theology, we discover that generosity and hospitality are practical expressions of thanksgiving, demonstrating grace to others and reverence for God’s holy Presence.
For further study from the ESV footnotes: Heb. 13:2 hospitality. The virtue of hosting and caring for visitors was especially valued in antiquity since travel was difficult and inns could be dangerous (e.g., Rom. 12:13; 1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:8; 1 Pet. 4:9). entertained angels. Cf. Gen. 18:1–15; also Judg. 6:11–24; 13:3–24.
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Elizabeth DeBarros will be hosting a great book discussion starting on May 4. The book is “A place for Weakness” by Michael Horton go here to read the details.
Don’t forget to check the resources’ page and sign in for the giveaway at the end of the month.

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11 thoughts on “>Bread of Angels by Elizabeth DeBarros

  1. >Elizabeth this post really got to me, just like Christina I thought about it all day! As a single person I am often somewhat uncomfortable bringing people into my home for fellowship. I usually just assume many of my married friends would be much more comfortable in their own larger homes. This has challenged me to reach out more to my neighbors, my Church family and relatives in a new way. Such great food for thought my friend! Thank you so much , I love this.

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  2. >Thank you to everyone for your generous comments on my guest post. I'm so grateful to Becky for giving me an opportunity to share my heart, pour out the things He has laid on my heart over the years. But if there is one thing I must confess, it is this: Hospitality, although it is something I find enjoyable, is not necessarily always easy for me. It requires forethought, sensitivity, sacrifice and a fair degree of flexibility. We are not living in the Victorian era where everyone has proper manners with lifted pinkies sipping their tea. And life is never like the picture-perfect magazines portray…but when the Lord is the honored Guest in our kitchen, it's far better, for when people have been in your company, they will have been with Him. Be blessed, every one of you!-E

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  3. >Petra, peeking in just to say… I didn't know it was not easy to leave comments! I'm sorry!I am glad now it is easier. I had to make some changes because no one could comment on the resources page, but sincerely, I didn't know it benefited all of the rest. I am happy now! 🙂

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  4. >Your words are very encouraging and filled with His wisdom through and through. This shy head is peeking out from under its turtle shell more and more, and making room for eye to eye, hand to hand, and heart to heart contact as well as tea and lunches and conversations that lead to God and Christ. So, this post is perfect timing! Thanks E! Love and hugs!

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  5. >Elizabeth, I read your post earlier and thought about it all day! I was deeply touched by your thoughts here. Your post is both a challenge and an encouragement. If we follow Jesus through any Gospel we will find him engaging people in a very personal and tender way. Let et us also, as we have been granted this brief time on earth, show the genuine love that Jesus had for individuals as we preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world.Bless you dear friend for this post!

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  6. >"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort." (2 Cor 1:3-7).I think this post of yours, Elizabeth, sums up these words of Paul’s exactly. God ministers to the whole man, so that we can then go and feed and still a hungry crowd, one person at a time.Beautiful post, beautiful exhortation – yes, I am likewise convicted, I am liable to be too heavenly minded to be any earthly good! Love to you – and yes, I’m longing for that cup of tea at your table with Becky too 🙂

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  7. >"What goes on in the kitchen is tantamount to what happens in the prayer room, but things go best when the latter serves the former." What a wonderful lesson and exortation this is today Elizabeth! I am convicted! With all of our modern conveniences it amazes me how I can still be so taken in by the tyranny of the urgent that I can also neglect the better part. Thank you for a beautiful piece. And God bless you today sister.

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  8. >As always, this is a most wonderful post, Elizabeth. I've been challenged much in this area of late, to at least do what my season of life allows me to, and your words are sweet encouragement. Thank you!

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