Transformed for Purpose
Thank You, Lord, for Your promise that You will never leave or forsake me.
Read: HEBREWS 13:1–25
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. 2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. 3 Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”
6 So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”
7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. 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 carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so. 10 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.
11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.
15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
17 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
18 Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. 19 I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.
Benediction and Final Greetings
20 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
22 Brothers and sisters, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for in fact I have written to you quite briefly.
23 I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you.
24 Greet all your leaders and all the Lord’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings.
25 Grace be with you all.
Reflect: FEELING HARASSED? TOO MANY DEMANDS PULLING YOU IN TOO MANY DIRECTIONS? LAY THESE THINGS DOWN, AND SIT WITH JESUS.
Feeling harassed? Too many demands pulling you in too many directions? Lay these things down, and sit with Jesus.
The writer concludes his letter by listing some guidelines for Christian living—instructions that may help us put into practice our reflections on honing a holy, dynamic, transforming faith, in everyday life. Consider the themes mentioned; do you need to give more attention to any of these instructions? Or perhaps you feel pressured by this chapter. For example, you don’t feel you have the time to be hospitable, or enough money to share with others. Hospitality and giving are commands, not suggestions, but if you feel defensive or stressed, ask God to show you how you can respond in creative ways to the many facets of outworking your faith, responses that dovetail with who you are and your personal circumstances.
We can’t say “yes” to all of the many and varied demands on our time and resources, but we can ask God to guide us, believing that he will equip us with what we need to do his will. And remember God’s promise: “Never will I leave you.”
God wants to change us into the best version of ourselves. How does God want you to put your faith into action?
God, equip me with everything good for doing Your will, and work in me what is pleasing to You.
Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.