Scripture reference: Hebrews 12:1-4, Proverbs 3:11-12
Are we ready to take the baton of this relay race of faith? And complete the race before us? We’ve studied about all the forefathers of faith in the book of Hebrews, and they are waiting for us to finish the race so that they can be perfected. As Bible says, they should not be made perfect apart from us.
We’ve received the covenant of Mount Zion and are qualified to run this final race. Today we’ll learn from the author of Hebrews crucial tips on how to live a life of faith where we can be successful in our race.
1. Resist against sin with endurance (Hebrews 12:1)
If we’re ready to run, let us be ready and be dressed properly. We have to resist sin in this world where sin is commonplace and accepted. Have we resisted sin to the point of bloodshed? (Hebrews 12:4) If we haven’t done so, I’ll pray that you can be successful in doing so.
2. Love (1John 3:14)
We have to love the brethren in Christ. Also don’t neglect to show hospitality to strangers. May our church be filled with brotherly love this year, and always pray for each other.
Hospitality is about sharing love to strangers, in the Jewish culture, it is providing shelter and food in your home. Christians were persecuted by Romans and Jews then so to open up their homes is dangerous, yet the author of Hebrews encourages them to do it, sometimes to the perils of their lives.
When we evangelise our neighbours, friends and colleagues, it is not done to receive love back. It is to share God’s love to them, so we don’t have to fear rejection. We share God with them so that they can receive Jesus into their lives. To do this, we spend financially, also with our time and in prayers.
In Greek, Philadelphia means brotherly love.
In Greek, Philozania means show love to strangers.
When we make effort to share the love of God with others, it provides a way for God to come into us and do His mysterious work. (Hebrews 13:3)
Let us pray for others like their problems are mine. (1Cor 12:26)
3. Purity, to keep from defilement (Hebrews 13:4)
To God marriage is to be kept in honour, this applies to both married and unmarried Christians.
The writer also calls out 2 types of sin at the end of the chapter.
Any sexual activity done outside of marriage, or pre-marriage. In today’s society this is acceptable and commonplace, but the Word of God has not changed, and it will never change even in the future. If you’ve committed the sin, just repent and Jesus will forgive you!
Fornication is taking something you’re not allowed to take. We’ve to stay pure. Jesus can make us pure even when we’re impure.
(2) Adultery (Hebrews 13:4)
Let us find fear in that God will judge the adulterers Himself. (1Cor 6:9) As a church let us be clear on this. It’s not that we’re rejecting all these people, we are in the same boat as them. Murderers, liars all cannot enter into heaven. So we must repent, let our church be one all sinners can come in, and leave their sins and go away cleansed.
We can’t condemn anything or their sin, but let us receive power to condemn the sin within us.
4. Do not covet (Hebrews 13:5-6)
Covetousness is not just wanting what others have, it is sinful wanting. This is something that will take away my focus, my time away from God. What is the purpose of money? What results can it bring for us, and for the kingdom of God? Will what I want lead me to idolatry? Will it bring me closer to God or further away? (1Tim 6:10)
The opposite of coveting is contentment, which will lead us to thankfulness. When God sees that we can do this, He will bless us more and more. Amen! (Phil 4:11)
Everyone has different talents and ways in which God can use them.
Hebrews 12:28-29 NKJ
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.
Though we’re still on earth, let us receive this kingdom and show gratitude! God has promised us that if we keep these things and run the race, God will give us this kingdom that cannot be shaken.
We are sons of God so there are times when God will discipline us. We are all saved but as His sons He has expectations and He will judge accordingly. (Hebrews 12:5)
This year 2024 let us satisfy God’s expectations and start running this race!