Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. 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 man do to me?” Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Always with Me
A father went with his daughter 2,000 miles away from home for her first year of college. Before they said their good-byes, he felt compelled to write a little note that he could slip in her desk that would encourage her after he left. But what was he to write? How could he sum up what he had spent 18 years trying to teach and model for her? A short note hardly seemed enough to capture all his thoughts and emotions. After a few moments of reflection, he wrote that he was proud of her, that she was ready for the new challenges ahead of her, and that he loved her.
The writer of the book of Hebrews was in a similar difficult situation as he penned the closing words of his letter. He spent 12 chapters with his audience sharing the life and eternity-changing truths about Jesus. Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus also shared our humanity. And with his perfect life and innocent death, Jesus forgave our sins and broke the power of devil. Jesus spoke the truth and encourages his children, like you and me, to live according to it in thanks and love. It is through faith in Jesus that God’s children throughout history faced the challenges of living in an imperfect world.
Finally, in chapter 13, the writer left his audience with some concluding remarks. He summarizes the first thought by saying. “Keep on loving each other as brothers.” These words suggest that they were already doing many of these things. Included on the list is showing hospitality and giving help to anyone in need. Today there is no shortage of opportunities to show Christ’s love to those who are hurting or in need. We will want to keep our eyes open for opportunities to help and then act in love toward those in need.
God’s children also have reason to be content. After all, we have the promise that God is with us at all times. This truth will help us as we fight sexual temptation in the same way that people fought it 2,000 year ago. We will also be on guard against the trap of greed. We have been given the gifts of love and forgiveness from God. The storerooms of heaven stand open for us. What treasure from this world could ever compare to that?
Finally, the author takes us back to Jesus. “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.” As we recount the faithfulness of God throughout history, we have every reason to believe that his promises remain true for eternity. Jesus does not change. His promises do not change. His future with us and his love for us is certain.
Dear Jesus, I know that you are with me at all times. Continue to guide my heart and give me the strength to live in love. Thank you for always being my God whom I can trust completely. Amen.