Friday, 3 July 2020 Hebrews 13:1-9
Let brotherly love continue. -Hebrews 13:1
In Hebrews 13, the author exhorts the church on Christian living. Our daily life should reflect the love of Christ which portrays itself in a loving relationship with everyone around us. "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34). Five areas of application are highlighted here.
Brotherly Love: (Heb. 13:1) Having experienced the agape love of God for us, in sending His Son to the world to suffer and die for our sins, we should continue to walk in that love. In spite of our many differences, let us love our brethren as ourselves. And in exercising godliness develop brotherly affection, and in exercising brotherly affection develop Christian love. (2Peter 1:7) Such sacrificial love unites and builds up the body of Christ. Further, our love for others bears witness of our salvation and regeneration to a questioning world.
Hospitality to Strangers: (Heb. 13:2) As children of God, we are called to show kindness to strangers. In Matthew 25, when Jesus talks of the Final Judgment, he talks of the hospitality we are to show in welcoming strangers. How do you know, dear brother if a kind act of yours may be what points a stranger to Christ and salvation?
Empathize with Prisoners: (Heb. 13:3) Empathy requires loving others as God loves us. God empathized with his creation - Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. (Psalm 103:13-14) It involves sharing in the suffering of others. Jesus was compassionate to the lost, the blind, and the lame whereby he ministered to them and healed them. When we come across prisoners/people who have been mistreated, what is our attitude? Do we reach out to them, spend time to encourage them through the word of God and pray with a burden for them? Remember that we are called to ‘Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.’ (Galatians 6:2)
After exhortation on our living in love in our general relationships, the author impresses upon us the need for love in our personal life.
Honor in marriage: (Heb. 13:4) Marriage is a sacred union between husband and wife, in the presence of God, and this union is not to be defiled. Our marriage vows to love, protect and cherish are not to be taken lightly. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her. (Ephesians 5:25) Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22) Christ’s sacrificial love for us is the standard by which we should evaluate and set right the relationship with our spouse.
Contentment in Life: (Heb. 13:5) Holman Bible Dictionary defines contentment as ‘An internal satisfaction which does not demand changes in external circumstances.’ Here the emphasis is to cast out all love for worldly wealth and rather be content with what God has given us. It is our Father’s promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us. (Deut.31:6) Then why should we be discontent and run after worldly riches? A true disciple will not covet, but rather find peace and joy in each blessing, trusting completely that our God “will supply all our needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:16)
Let us pause and examine ourselves – Have we been living a life that portrays the Savior’s love? To walk in love daily is practically possible, just as Christ has set an example for us.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. [Ephesians 5:1-2]
Prayer: Father, Strengthen me by the power of your Spirit to be rooted and grounded in your love and help me to love everyone that you have placed in my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.