Move beyond the empty, wasted life most settle for. The God of peace offers to give you 'everything good!'
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Hebrews 13 (ESV)
1 Let brotherly love continue.
2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers,
for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
3 Remember those who are
as though in prison with them,
and those who are mistreated,
since you also are in the body.
4 Let marriage be held in honor among all,
and let the marriage bed be undefiled,
for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
5 Keep your life free from love of money,
and be content with what you have,
for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
6 So we can confidently say,
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
7 Remember your leaders,
those who spoke to you the word of God.
Consider the outcome of their way of life,
and imitate their faith.
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
9 Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings,
for it is good for the heart to be strengthened
not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.
10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat.
11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin
are burned outside the camp.
12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.
13 Therefore let us
go to him outside the camp
and bear the reproach he endured.
14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.
15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge 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,
as those who will have to give an account.
Let them do this with joy and not with groaning,
for that would be of no advantage to you.
18 Pray for us,
for we are sure that we have a clear conscience,
desiring to act honorably in all things.
19 I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.
20 Now may the God of peace
who brought again from the dead
our Lord Jesus,
the great shepherd of the sheep,
by the blood of the eternal covenant,
21 equip you with everything good
that you may do his will,
working in us that which is pleasing in his sight,
through Jesus Christ,
to whom be glory forever and ever.
22 I appeal to you, brothers,
bear with my word of exhortation,
for I have written to you briefly.
23 You should know that our brother Timothy
has been released,
with whom I shall see you if he comes soon.
24 Greet all your leaders and all the saints.
Those who come from Italy send you greetings.
25 Grace be with all of you.
Hebrews 13 Summary
Look at the kinds of encouragements you are given in Hebrews 13; each command has a long term, ongoing aspect to it:
Keep on loving (v1)
Do not forget to show hospitality (v2)
Continue to remember (v3)
Keep your lives free (v5)
Remember your leaders (v7)
Do not be carried away (v9)
Continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise (v15)
Do not forget to do good (v16)
Have confidence (v17)
Pray for us (v18)
As important and valuable as these practical instructions are, this chapter is best known for the beautiful benediction that comes in v20-21:
Now may the God of peace...
What an amazing way to describe the sovereign ruler of the universe: the God of peace! Although God would be perfectly just to identify as the God of wrath (don't forget that He's also referred to as a consuming fire yesterday in 12:29), God reveals Himself to you in peace, because you are represented to Him in the perfect righteousness of Christ.
who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant...
God, who is always faithful to His covenant, showed His acceptance of our Savior's atonement for our sin by giving Jesus new life. Therefore, Jesus our Lord will always be your shepherd, and you shall not want.
[May He] equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight...
Your life does not need to be a continual train wreck of failure. You've been equipped with everything good! Notice there is a caveat, though. You're equipped to do His will, the things that please Him, which requires that you align your will with His.
through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
This is why we often use the phrase Soli Deo Gloria in Reformed circles, because all glory is due to God alone!
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The God of peace
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will want what God wants so that He will be at work through you
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: