Wednesday after the Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Hebrews 13:1-25 (NKJV)
1 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. 3 Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also. 4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. 5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
6 So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” 7 Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them. 10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp.
12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. 15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. 16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
18 Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably. 19 But I especially urge you to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.
20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
22 And I appeal to you, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation, for I have written to you in few words. 23 Know that our brother Timothy has been set free, with whom I shall see you if he comes shortly. 24 Greet all those who rule over you, and all the saints. Those from Italy greet you. 25 Grace be with you all. Amen.
In chapters 11 and 12 the writer of Hebrews provides many examples of God’s people persevering in trials, both in the Old Testament times and in the early Christian Church. He makes it clear that these saints were able to overcome not by their own power, but by the blessing of the Lord. He makes it clear that what God’s people are to do has not changed from the beginning: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and you neighbor as yourself. This is God’s will for His people. He has brought us into His kingdom through water and the Word, and He “will never leave you nor forsake you.” Now we too may boldly say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
Therefore, by faith you and I go outside our churches into a scary world of false teaching and immorality, “for here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come.” By the power of Christ we “offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”
In the world today we too are often persecuted and ridiculed for this faith. But we too know that the “God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, makes [us] complete in every good work to do His will, working in [us] what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Thanks be to God that He has given us the victory through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.