The writer of Hebrews 13 closes this book with what I call a “bullet point message.” He gives us several rapid messages of encouragement in how to live out our daily walk with Christ. It’s like our Lord saying, “John, I want you to do the following.” And then He lays out His truth for me to live by today. Here is what Jesus says to each of us today:
- Verse 1 – Keep on loving each other: This is the Lord’s No. 1 priority.
- Verse 2 – Do not forget to entertain strangers: You never know when your act of kindness may be an angel.
- Verse 3 – Remember those in prison: We should think of their need for Christ.
- Verse 4 - Marriage should be honored by all: We need to live morally pure lives in our walk with Christ.
- Verse 5 - Keep yourself free from the love of money: We must guard our hearts against having more and more and more stuff that money can buy. Proverbs tells us to use our money to win others to the Lord. Get the gospel out.
- Verse 6 – Be content with what you have.
- Verse 9 – It’s good for your heart to be strengthened by grace: God’s presence and God’s power is always available to us by His grace in any situation of life.
- Verse 15 – Jesus lets us offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of our lips that confess His name: Keep going public with the name of Jesus in your circle of influence. “So then faith comes by hearing … (Romans 10:17, NKJV).”
The book of James in the first century has a good summary statement of the above.
“Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” - James 1:22-24, emphasis added
It’s not the person who knows the truth of God, but the person who acts upon the truth of God’s Word and wisdom that God desires to use for His glory and our good.
I don’t know what pit you may be in or what struggles and fears you find yourself in, but I do know this. If the cry of your heart is, “Help me, Lord Jesus,” Jesus will jump in the pit with you, put you on His back, take you out, and place your feet upon the rock of His love for you. His Word says to go forward together; forget the past, and press on to the future.
Jesus stands ready to do His great part if we do our bit part of asking Him to take us forward. Forget that which lies behind (Philippians 3:13), as the Apostle Paul said. And when the enemy says, “God can’t use you or your past,” remember Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you… (2 Corinthians 12:9).” What past?
Take these action steps daily as we move forward:
- Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul today.
- Love your neighbor as yourself today.
- It’s more blessed to give than receive today.
- Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God today.
- Trust in Lord with all your heart; don’t lean to your own understanding today.
- Acknowledge God in all you do today.
- Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of Christ today.
- Give today, and it will be given to you.
- In everything, give thanks today.
- Rejoice in the Lord today.
Why so many “todays?” Because I can never experience tomorrow today. As the Apostle Paul says, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21)” today.
John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.