“Now may the God of peace— who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21 This devotion ends our study in Hebrews. I have enjoyed the journey and I pray that you have. I also pray that you are walking closer with God because of our study. I know that I am. In our next devotion we will be starting our study in 1 Corinthians. I believe that in this study God will enlighten our minds in how we should live as Christians in this world. A short summary of Hebrews. Hebrews makes it clear that Jesus Christ exceeds all other people, pursuits, objects, or hopes to which human beings offer allegiance. Hebrews pictures Jesus as better than the angels, as bringing better lives to humanity through salvation, as offering a better hope than the Mosaic Law could promise, as a better sacrifice for our sins than a bull or a goat, and as providing a better inheritance in heaven for those who place their faith in Him. Jesus is indeed superior to all other. With Jesus we can have the peace of God in our lives.
“Pray for us, for our conscience is clear and we want to live honorably in everything we do. And especially pray that I will be able to come back to you soon.” Hebrews 13:18-19 The most important thing that we do is pray for our Christian leaders. In this day that we are living in I see more and more of our Christian leaders falling for the lies of Satan. They are living as the world and they feel that the world has more to offer than God. It is so easy to fail in our walk with God when we stop working at growing in the Lord. I know that I have to have my personal time with God as well as writing my devotions. As I write and share with you what I feel like God is telling me, I want my conscience to be clear. I want to be sure that I am hearing God and not myself. There is only one way that can happen and it is if you will pray for me and lift me up to God. More than anything else I need your prayers. “Prayer is our only hope. Our nation is doomed and damned unless born again Christians, with backs to the wall, fall upon their knees beseeching a holy God for mercy in this hour when America’ ship of state, torpedoed by the enemy within, is poised for the final plunge” (Leonard Ravenhill). “Prayer is a privilege, a sacred, princely privilege. Prayer is a duty, an obligation most binding, and most imperative, which should call us to it.” (Leonard Ravenhill) I cannot stress enough how much I need your prayers. I can only continue this ministry with God and your prayers.
“Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.” Hebrews 13:17 Did you know that one of the functions of our spiritual leaders is to persuade us with the truth? They are to teach and show us the truth from God’s word so that we will listen, yield to it and obey it. In the same way we are to trust and be convinced by the teaching and persuasion of our leaders. It is their job to teach the Word of God to us with authority and power. Then we are to receive it, be convinced by it and yield to it. In this way, these truths become evident in our lives and in return bring joy to our leaders when they see change occur. 1 Thessalonians tells us, “Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13) Many places in the Bible God tells us that spiritual leaders are responsible for teaching the Word of God and showing the people the truth. If a spiritual leader fails in telling the truth, he will pay for that failure. When I write my devotions, I do a lot of digging and praying that what I write is God’s truth, not my truth. I know at times I make mistakes. My fear is that I may lead someone down the wrong road if I don’t write the truth. “When the watchman sees the […]
“Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.” Hebrews 13:15-16 When I was young, I remember at Wednesday night service the Pastor would ask people to stand and give God the praise. To me this was some of the best services that we had. Most of the time it was the same people telling the same thing, but to me it was still wonderful. I don’t know why I enjoyed it so much as a child, I guess it was just that they were praising God and I always felt that we needed to praise God more. I still enjoy hearing someone give God the praise and the story they tell about how much God loves and takes care of them. We should all remember that without God we are nothing so we need to always praise Him not just for what He does for us, but because of who He is. We are not to offer up a sacrifice of blood of bulls or of rams; it is a sacrifice of praise that we offer Him under the new covenant. We offer this praise because Jesus sacrificed it all for us. We offer this praise to God through Jesus Christ. These are the sacrifices that please God. What does the sacrifice of praise look like? “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10) […]
“We have an altar from which the priests in the Tabernacle have no right to eat. Under the old system, the high priest brought the blood of animals into the Holy Place as a sacrifice for sin, and the bodies of the animals were burned outside the camp. So also, Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood. So, let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore. For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.” Hebrews 13:10-14 The author again stops to reinforce one of his main points. Christ is the mediator of a new and better covenant enacted on new and better promises. He points back to the Tabernacle to inform the readers that those who serve at the old altar have no right to eat at the new altar. The believers do have a right to eat at the new and better altar, for they enjoy fellowship with God through the blood of Jesus Christ. The author brings up the bodies of the animals that were sacrificed under the old covenant. We don’t think about what happened to carcasses. They were taken out of the city to be burned. It would have defiled the city if they had been burned within the walls. Just like the old covenant Jesus suffered outside the gate. “So, they took Jesus away. Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull.” (John 19:16-17) Jesus suffered outside the gates so that He might sanctify the people by His blood. This was pointing out that the old covenant sin offering pointed to a better new covenant offering. This is telling […]
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them.” Hebrews 13:8-9 This is what the book of Hebrews is all about. It is about Jesus Christ and all that comes with the New Covenant that Jesus Christ brought in when He died on the Cross. God’s promise of salvation is fulfilled by Jesus Christ. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. The same is true of Jesus Christ. If there was ever a scripture to draw encouragement from, this would be it. This is a foundational truth written in heaven, Jesus does not change. He will not recant His words. He will not revoke His offer of unconditional love and grace. As the world gets increasingly worse, Jesus is the anchor that keeps us safe until the end. Scripture tells us over and over that God will not change His mind, “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.” (James 1:17-18) “God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” (Numbers 23:17) God has never failed me and He has never left me. I can stand on God’s promises that they will never change and He will always keep His Word.
“Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith.” Hebrews 13:7 This scripture tells us to remember the people that taught the Word of God; the examples that led you to the life of walking with Jesus. When I think back to the saints that helped me be the person that I am today; I think first of all to my grandmother. My grandmother was a lady that loved the Lord and showed it in the life that she lived. She finished her race and went to heaven when I was still a child. I know that if it had not been for her and her prayers where I would be today. Her prayers has followed me all of my life. I know that the hedge of protection that has been around me was there because of her prayers. She is one in the huge crowd of witnesses that is cheering me on and because of her witness I can endure the race and win. There are many others that I can think of that has been the example of how I should walk with God. I was raised in the church, but I moved so far away from God when I was a young adult. Then God put some of these great saints in my life and I received Jesus Christ as the Lord of my life. Since then the examples that showed me the way to live for God is too many to name. My question to you is, are you being an example to someone? Can people look at your life and see that you are living for God?
“Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So, we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6 I know that we all need money to survive in this world. This scripture is telling us that money should not rule our lives. The older I get and the longer I serve God and walk with Him; the more I trust God. I was saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, called to the ministry and on my way to Colorado to attend Bible College within a short time. I had no doubt that I was in God’s will and He never failed my family or me. He was always faithful to provide for our every need. In the years since that time God has still provided for all we need. Today, He is still providing for us. The world seems to be falling apart, but I have no fear. The worst that can happen to me is I can die and go to heaven. God is in control of my life and I have the peace of God in my heart and spirit. “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” (Matthew 6:19-21) “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be […]
“Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.” Hebrews 13:4 The home is the first place where Christian love should be practiced. A Christian home begins with a Christian marriage in the will of God. This means loyalty and faithfulness. Sex outside of marriage is sinful and destructive. We live in a world where sex is used to market many products. It is paraded as entertainment in movies and on television, the church needs to stand for purity in marriage. We can see many lives destroyed by sex outside the marriage. God created marriage. In fact, marriage existed in the perfect paradise of the garden. It was instituted from the very beginning to bless us. Paul gives further insight into this wonderful covenant in the book of Ephesians. The main point for his encouragement on marriage is to illustrate the type of relationship that we have with Christ as His bride. He uses the relationship between a husband and wife so we can understand the intimacy that we can experience with the Lord. “As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again, I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Ephesians 5:31-33) God considers marriage especially dear and holds it in high esteem which is why He blesses this union with children through intimacy. So, we too must consider this relationship worthy of great price and continually honor and nurture it. Next to our relationship with […]
“Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies.” Hebrews 13:1-3 This chapter moves into how we are to live if we believe in the New Covenant and have faith in Jesus Christ. The entire book of Hebrews has been leading us into a closer walk with Jesus and what this walk means. In the Bible there is no division between doctrine and duty. The two always go together. The basis for fellowship is brotherly love. As Christians, the Hebrews people no doubt had been rejected by their friends and family. But the deepest kind of fellowship is not based on race or family relationship; it is based on the spiritual life we have in Christ. A church fellowship based on anything other than love for Christ and for one another will not last. Many of the writers of the New Testament write about this love. “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” (Romans 12:9-10) “You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.” (1 Peter 1:22) “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7) This is important because loving each other, considering others before one’s self […]