Love One Another
Hebrews 13:1-3 NIV
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. 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.
No matter how we have been treated by others in our lives, if we are followers of Jesus Christ, or not, we should love one another. Yet, as followers of Christ, we have the love of Jesus living within us. We are the recipients of God’s love and grace, in our lives, so we should be those who practice love for others, but not with an emotional love, necessarily, but with a love which is self-sacrificial and which puts others’ needs above our own.
This love is God-like, too, in that it prefers what God prefers, which is what is holy, pure, righteous, honest, trustworthy, and moral. So, loving others with this kind of love will do no harm to others. We won’t take advantage of others to our own advantage or use people for selfish purposes. We won’t cheat on, lie to, gossip about, slander, mistreat, betray or abuse others. We will be honest, trustworthy, kind, thoughtful, and empathetic towards others who are hurting, and we will show love by our actions, and not in word only.
He is Faithful
Hebrews 13:4-6 NIV
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. 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.”
So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”
Not everyone is faithful, though, or loving or kind. Not everyone is pure of heart, sincere, loyal, honest and trustworthy. There will be people in our lives who will hate us, mistreat us, betray, lie to and cheat on us. They may mouth empty words declaring love for us, but by their actions they will betray those words. And, they treat God the same way.
Yet, as followers of Jesus Christ, even if humans disappoint us, betray us, mistreat or abuse us, and forsake us, our God, our Lord will never leave us or forsake us. He will never lie to us or abandon us. He may allow difficulties in our lives, but when he does, they are not to harm us, but to work good in us and through us into the lives of others.
The Lord will help us through any and every situation in our lives. Nothing can happen to us but what God allows it, and he allows it for a purpose. What Satan means for evil in our lives, God intends for good. He will accomplish his purposes in our lives through our trials in order to mature, purify, strengthen and encourage us in our walks of faith. And, one day God will judge our enemies, yet we should pray for them and for their salvation.
A Sacrifice of Praise
Hebrews 13:11-16 NIV
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. And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
Jesus Christ, God the Son, left his throne in heaven, came to earth, took on human flesh, and then suffered and died on a cross for us, although he had done no wrong, but only good. He who knew no sin became sin for us on that cross in order that we might die with him to sin and live with him to righteousness. By his stripes (his wounds) we are healed.
So, when we come to him in faith, believing on him to be Lord and Savior of our lives, we are crucified with him in death to sin, and we are resurrected with him to newness of life, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. The old has gone; the new has come. We are now born again of the Spirit of God, not with a physical birth, but with a spiritual birth. Now we live according to the Spirit of God and no longer live to gratify the sinful cravings of our flesh.
Therefore, because we have been delivered out of darkness and brought into God’s wonderful light, we should be ones who proclaim the excellencies of him who turned us from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that we could receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ. We should be his witnesses in sharing his love and grace with others, so they may know him, too.
For Doing His Will
Hebrews 13:20-21 NIV
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, 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.
Through faith in Jesus Christ, not only are we delivered from our slavery to sin so that we can walk in righteousness, but we are then indwelt with the Holy Spirit of God. The Spirit of God, thus, lives within us empowering us to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God. God within us, then, equips us with everything good for doing his will. But, he not only equips us, but he works his will in our hearts and lives. In other words, we operate in his strength, wisdom and counsel. So, even if we feel like we can’t do it, God can do it through us, to his glory and praise, as we yield our lives to him.
I Will Uphold You
An Original Work / November 4, 2011
Based off of Isaiah 41:8-20; Ephesians 6:10-18
You are My servant; I’ve chosen you.
I’ve not rejected you; I’ve been true.
Do not be fearful; I am with you.
Don’t be alarmed, for I am your God.
I will give you strength, and will help you.
I will uphold you with My right hand.
All who’re against you will be disgraced.
Those who oppose you, they will perish.
Enemies you search, but will not find.
They war against you; nothing will be.
I am your Lord God, who takes your hand;
Says, “Do not fear, for I will help you.”
The poor and needy, water they need.
Their tongues are thirsty; no drop to drink.
I will give answer; not forsake them.
I will make rivers flow from within.
My living water I will outpour
On those who seek Me; and Me adore.
Jesus provided the sacrifice;
For our sins blood bought; He paid the price,
So we’re forgiven all of our sins,
When we invite Him to come within.
He cleanses us from our impure hearts.
His life within us gives a new start.
Sunday, March 25, 2018, 3:39 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for these encouraging words. Drive them home to our hearts, I pray in Jesus’ name.