[Daily Devotion] December 11th, 2015

[Daily Devotion] December 11th, 2015

Sharing God’s Goodness- Hebrews 13: 1 – 19

Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured.[a] Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” So we can say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper;
    I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?”

Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings; for it is well for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by regulations about food,[b] which have not benefited those who observe them. 10 We have an altar from which those who officiate in the tent[c] have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the city gate in order to sanctify the people by his own blood. 13 Let us then go to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured. 14 For here we have no lasting city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. 15 Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls and will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with sighing—for that would be harmful to you.

18 Pray for us; we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. 19 I urge you all the more to do this, so that I may be restored to you very soon.

Paul’s final exhortation can be summed up into the ‘Royal Law’; Love God and Love others.

“15 Through him, then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” Hebrews 13: 15 – 16

We are to love God, through our worship, praise, prayer, and dedication, and love others by serving them in various ways.

Paul explains this in a couple of ways to do this.

  1. Keep on loving others (v. 1) – We are called to love one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. We are asked to love all people, regardless of our differences. Church is a community where we are to practice that love. If we can’t love other in our church, how can we truly love others outside?
  2. Show hospitable to strangers (v. 2) – It was a custom to show hospitality to strangers. It is sad that we can’t freely practice this hospitality due to the world being evil. However, does that stop us from following God’s will? We will need to find other ways.
  3. Remember people in prison (v. 3) – This is a hard thing to do. I don’t know how to do it well. However, we do need to acknowledge that they need prayer and love as well. On the bright side, I’m glad that our youth is reaching out to the children of prisoners through the Angel Tree project. We will be serving eight children this year. How can we do more?
  4. Remember mistreated people (v. 3) – this will include immigrants, refugees, low-income workers, children bullied, and more. St. Fransico said, “Church is a field hospital.” We live in this world like we are in a war. Competing and hurting others. The church, at least, should be a welcoming place for all wounded people.
  5. Beware of sexual immorality (v. 4) – Paul talks about sexual immorality a lot. We need to remember how is devour not only ourselves but also everyone around us.
  6. Remember your leaders (v. 7) – he asks God’s people to remember and follow the leaders of the church. This puts a lot of burden on me, since the Message Bible says, “Thak a good look at the way they live, and let their faithfulness instruct you, as well as their truthfulness.”
  7. Do not be lured away from him because what the world says (v. 9) – Jesus is the truth. The wicked world will continue to boggle down the truth, so we don’t follow it.
Paul challenges the believers to live in this lifestyle as a way to participate in the sacrifice of our Lord. “So let’s go outside, where Jesus is, where the action is—not trying to be privileged insiders, but taking our share in the abuse of Jesus.” Hebrews 13: 13 The Message. 
Reflect on the 7 challenges of Paul and see where you would need to improve. Don’t have to do all seven, but at least one that God is calling you to do. 

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