Morning Meditations: Hebrews (Day 12)

Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. 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.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”     (Hebrews 13:1-6)

Lord, in this last chapter of Hebrews you give us practical instructions for the practice of godly living, for living out our faith: love our sisters and brothers in the faith, be hospitable to strangers, remember prisoners and mistreated people, control our sexual passions and live faithfully in our marriages, resist greed and materialism, and be content with what we have. 

How can we do these things? They are not the norm in our culture, in our world. They don’t come naturally to us.

How can we do these things?

To answer that question, to tell us how we can live this godly life — opposite our own natures and the currents of the world — the writer of Hebrews offers us . . . you. Your presence. We can do it because you are our helper and you will never leave or forsake us. We don’t have to provide for our own security or satisfaction. We don’t have to provide for our own safety or happiness or fulfillment. You will do that, so we can be free to love rather than . We can be free to welcome rather than protect. We can be free to give away rather than accumulate. We can be free to submit rather than control. 

How can I love my brothers and sisters? 

God is with me and he is my helper.

How can I welcome strangers?

God is with me and he is my helper.

How can I love my husband and resist sexual temptation?

God is with me and he is my helper.

How can I be content with what I have?

God is with me and he is my helper.

I do not have to provide for my own security or satisfaction.

For God is with me and he is my helper.

I am free to love and give and submit and serve.

For God is with me and he is my helper.

You are with me. Through Christ you, Yahweh — Creator, Provider, Deliverer, Sustainer, Healer, Redeemer — are with me. You will never leave me or forsake me. 

Through [Jesus] then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. (13:15)

You are with me and you are my helper. 

My lips will continually praise your name!

 

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