“Keep on loving each other … ” (Hebrews 13:1)
The Book of Hebrews in the New Testament is a wonderful letter to the church of the first century who was facing persecution and needed to be reminded of the greatness of Jesus.
At the end of Hebrews in chapter 13, we find important instruction for us in the 21st century. Let us take a closer look at this treasure of a letter and discover how we may apply some of it today.
Fellow Christians. “Keep on loving each other as brothers.” (verse 1) The first verse of chapter 13 gives us the second greatest commandment in all the Bible — love one another.
People we do not know. “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” (verse 2) What a wonderful thought that by loving those we had previously not met, we may be interacting with angels of God.
Those in prison. “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.” (verse 3) Most likely these were persecuted believers who were imprisoned for their faith. How can you apply this in your own life?
Marriage. “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” (verse 4) Marriage between a man and a woman is one of the foundations of our society and we should individually do our best to protect it in our own lives.
Money. “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.’ ” (verse 5) An obsession over money and discontentment means we may place our possessions above God. Instead, God gives us a promise that we can claim — that He will be with us and that He is all we need! What a wonderful God we serve.
Fear. “So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’ ” What kind of a grip does fear of man have on you? Will you obey God or man? Perhaps memorizing and speaking these two statements and one question is what you need to do to help you overcome fear.
Leaders. “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.” (verses 7, 8) Leaders are chosen by God and we are commanded to remember them and imitate their faith. Why? Because Jesus is living through and directing them to lead us and He never changes!
These are just a few instructions the author of Hebrews gives his readers that we can apply almost two thousand years later. What is God speaking to you as a result of what you have read? May He give you the strength to accomplish it.
William “Carey” Northington of One Master Ministries in Xenia may be contacted at OneMaster.org.