Love, Purity, Contentment
October 29th, 2018 | Hebrews 13:1-6
A recent poll asked people about their perceptions of Christianity. The leading negative impression cited was hypocrisy, the perception that Christians say one thing but live another way.
The danger of hypocrisy is not new, and the final chapter in the book of Hebrews offers a series of exhortations to encourage consistency between belief and practice. First, we are called to genuine and practical love. We must love our fellow Christians “as brothers and sisters” (v. 1), but we must also love those we do not know: “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers” (v. 2). Opening our homes to those in need is a way to live out our identity as followers of Jesus. Finally, love must be demonstrated toward the vulnerable, those who are mistreated and imprisoned. Scripture likely has in mind fellow believers, and calls us to love them “as if you were together with them in prison” (v. 3).
Second, we are called to lives of sexual purity. In our day when the divorce rate is extremely high, even among Christians, Scripture’s exhortation is timely: “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure” (v. 4). Christians should not only value marriage but work hard to preserve it and encourage couples who are struggling. Strong Christian marriages can become a powerful witness to a world full of adultery, promiscuity, and sexual immorality.
Third, we are called to contentment: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have” (v. 5). A love of material possessions will only erode contentment. Scripture reminds us that God’s providential care will provide for our needs; we can rest assured of His presence and help, and we need not run after materialistic goods.
APPLY THE WORD
Where is God calling your life into greater consistency with the gospel? Do you need to recommit your marriage to Christ? Can you simplify your possessions in order to focus more on God? Prayerfully consider these exhortations and ask God for strength to live out your Christian identity more consistently.
PRAYER | MALDIVES
Pray for secret believers, asking God to continue to fix their eyes on Him amidst the current political chaos in the country. Ask God to guide His church to develop effective discipleship.
Today in the Word’s Devotion is a production of Moody Global Ministries
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