Hebrews 13 – September 21
The Bible is basically a compilation of love letters from our Father in heaven, His loving words breathed onto each page. Over the next several months, as we study the letters of the Bible, Galatians through Jude, I pray that You will experience His eternal love in new ways and that it will transform you. These letters were written by Christian leaders, most of them by Paul, to establish and grow the Christian Church. For us, they are filled with love and gold nuggets on living a Christian life. Join along in our study by reading today’s scripture, journaling on it using SOAP, then sharing how God spoke to you today. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading, then below that is a SOAP from one of our study leaders. The Comments section on our website is an open forum for sharing, requesting prayer, and asking questions.
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. 2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. 3 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.
4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. 5 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.”
6 So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”
7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so. 10 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.
11 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. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.
15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
17 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
18 Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. 19 I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.
Benediction and Final Greetings
20 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, 21 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.
22 Brothers and sisters, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for in fact I have written to you quite briefly.
23 I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you.
24 Greet all your leaders and all the Lord’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings.
25 Grace be with you all.
Obey Your Leaders | Jess Howell
There was so much in this chapter that I could have focused on, but God chose this verse to land in. Being in closer proximity to church leaders the last few years has made me realize just how much our pastors and leaders need prayer — they are especially vulnerable to criticism, depression, and Satan’s constant attacks in their lives. And what am I doing to decrease the burden of their leadership?
If you stop and think about it, you’ve no doubt judged a pastor for his (or her) actions at some point. I know I have. But when you start to fully comprehend that they are a REAL person, not perfect, not without sin, not without mistakes, it truly makes a difference in your perspective. I shouldn’t put them on a pedestal and expect perfection in how the church is run. It’s God’s church, and I can’t change that, nor should I try. October is Pastor Appreciation Month, so it’s a great time to recognize your pastors/leaders, but I need to be on guard year-round for those that keep our church functioning daily.
God, I thank You so much for the Pastors and Leaders that give their lives DAILY for Your church and Your church people. They sacrifice so much. Forgive me for expecting too much from them and making them into something they are not. You have ordained them for a purpose, just as You have ordained me for a purpose. Thank You for loving me even in my mistakes. Amen.
The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.