Love and Honor

Hebrews 13:1-3 ESV

“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.”

Brotherly love is not just an emotional feeling or a fond affection for someone. It is the love one Christian should have for another, to love like Jesus in caring for one another’s needs and for one another’s spiritual growth and development, too. It is to encourage and help strengthen one another in our walks of faith in Jesus Christ – to be there for one another.

It is also to use the spiritual gifts the Lord Jesus has given to each of us for the mutual building of one another up in the faith to maturity in Christ until we all reach a unity of the faith. And, this might involve sharing a song or a poem or a Scripture intended to encourage another. Or it might be to bake a loaf of bread and take it to someone, too, or to help someone with a task.

Included in this is praying for one another, caring about what others are going through, and showing compassion and mercy to them. And, it is to show hospitality, although right now we are being discouraged to do much of that because of the purported pandemic the world is now facing. But we can be hospitable in other ways, too.

And, it is to show love and concern for those who are being mistreated for their faith in Jesus Christ, who are being persecuted for righteousness’ sake, to stand with them in their time of suffering and to support them spiritually and emotionally, or perhaps to help them financially, depending upon their needs and our available resources.

Hebrews 13:4 ESV

“Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”

I want us to take a serious look at what this is saying, for I believe far too many people these days do not take this seriously, and marriages are being destroyed because of it, because marriage is not being held in honor, and the marriage bed, in perhaps most households, is not undefiled.

God intended marriage to be a covenant relationship between a man and a woman, a promise to love and cherish one another, and to show one another respect and value.

Marriage is to be the union of two people into one person, united not only by sexual relations, but in mind, heart, and faith in Jesus Christ. They are to leave their single lives behind them to now cleave to each other and to no longer cleave to any other except for God/Christ.

So, in such a marriage relationship, the man or the woman do not flirt with other people. They don’t have private intimate conversations with others behind the backs of their spouse. They don’t lust after others. They don’t romanticize being with others. Thus, they don’t have romantic or sexual affairs with anyone outside of the marriage.

They also don’t view pornography or listen to or watch or read anything sexually suggestive or sensual in nature or graphically sexual which will stir the lusts of their flesh and lead them to have straying thoughts or images in their minds and hearts. They will keep their minds pure, and they will allow no wiggle room for straying thoughts or emotions.

Also, they will not gratify themselves sexually with themselves, for that is still cheating on their spouse, sometimes preferring self-gratification to true loving intimacy with their spouse.

Any replacement (substitute) for loving intimacy with one’s spouse is adultery, for it is uniting with another in a way that should only be with one’s spouse, and it is preferring something or someone over one’s spouse to meet those needs only to be met by one’s spouse.

But, the bottom line in all of this, I believe, is that any form of adultery and sexual immorality, as mentioned here, is cheating on one’s spouse, and it is not love. It is the opposite of love. And, it is the devaluing, not only of the marriage relationship, but of one’s spouse, too, or foremost.

So, if sexual immorality and adultery in its various forms is what a married man or woman practices, the marriage bed is always defiled. And, the marriage is not being held in honor.

And, one or the other is not loving, cherishing, and honoring the other. He or she is despising his or her spouse. And, so what is happening is the destruction of the marriage. And, what is left is just a shell of something called a marriage which is no marriage.

And, this is a tragedy. And, there should be an outcry about this within the church, but there isn’t. And, that is because too many within the church are living in sexual immorality, including a large percentage of pastors. And, so families and children are being destroyed, too, in the process.

Hebrews 13:5-6 ESV

“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?”

Money or some source of income is necessary to buy food and clothing and to provide shelter for oneself and for one’s family. So, money, in and of itself, is not the problem. The problem here is the love of money, the lust of the flesh to acquire wealth and to obtain much stuff and/or to prefer money and possessions over humility and obedience to our Lord.

Having possessions is also not the problem, unless of course we have way more than what we need, and we are selfish, and we are not willing to share with others in need. The problem really is a heart issue, and it has to do with contentment. Can we be content with little? Or are we always wanting more and more of what we don’t need, especially while we neglect the poor?

And, this is really the issue, too, regarding adultery. For, the one who commits adultery is not content with one’s spouse, but they have this insatiable thirst (hunger, craving) for more and more, and for variety, and for more excitement and for more intoxicating feelings, like a drug addiction.

So, the solution to all of this is that the Lord needs to be our trust. He needs to be our all sufficiency. We should look to him to have our needs met, and we should be unselfish and loving towards others, considering their needs greater than our own, considering what is truly best for them.

We must realize, if Jesus truly is our Lord, and if we are following him with our lives, we are not lacking in anything, for he will take care of us. He will never leave us, but he will help us through every trial and every heartache, and he will deliver us from all evil, if we will surrender our lives to him.

And, we must not fear what others will or might do to us, but we must let the Lord be our strength and our helper, and we must rest in his love.

My Task

Songwriters: M.l. Ray / S.h. Pickup / E.l. Ashford

To love someone more dearly ev’ry day
To help a wand’ring child to find his way
To ponder o’er a noble tho’t and pray
And smile when evening falls
And smile when evening falls
This is my task

To follow truth as blind men long for light
To do my best from dawn of day till night
To keep my heart fit for His holy sight
And answer when He calls
And answer when He calls
This is my task

And then my Savior by and by to meet
When faith hath made her task on earth complete
And lay my trophies at the Master’s feet
Within the jasper walls
Within the jasper walls
This crowns my task

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