Updated: May 5, 2020
This post is part of a series. Read the previous post here: https://tinyurl.com/uvf5rtl
READ HEBREWS CHAPTER 13 HERE: https://tinyurl.com/wcejpf9
LISTEN TO HEBREWS CHAPTER 13 HERE: https://tinyurl.com/snju6wk
Hebrew Chapter 13: Actions Speak Louder than Words
We've reached the end of our Hebrews journey. It has been a lot longer time frame than I anticipated, but I'm glad I persevered in writing about it for you.
In my Bible, Hebrews 13 is titled, "Concluding Exhortations." I felt that heading was extremely appropriate because everything outlined here is indeed instruction for how to carry on in life. Aside from accepting Jesus as our Savior, what can we do with our lives as Christians? Below I've outlined my thoughts on the key points of the author's final words.
Love Your Neighbor
The more I read the Bible, the clearer it becomes to me that this is one of the top three themes of scripture. We must learn to put others first. Think about it- can you continue to hold a grudge in heaven? What if your "heavenly mansion" is next to the one of the person you hate the most? Our earthly lives are only a glimpse of what our heavenly lives will be. Sure, right now I can block, unfollow, or ignore someone I don't like... but the attitudes that cause me to act that way have no place in heaven. It is a tough pill to swallow, but it is vital for us to learn how to sincerely love, sincerely forgive, and sincerely appreciate other people.
Stop Relying on Money
How often do you catch yourself wishing you earned more income? What do you think when you see someone else with a nicer house, car, or family vacation? Hebrews 13:5 says God will never leave or forsake us. When we have a genuine trust in God, we know that he will provide for our needs. If we give life our best effort, we are doing enough. While it is true that the bills won't pay themselves, it is also true that God is powerful. The limitations that we see of God's work in the world are not because of him- they are because of us. God does not condemn us for our lack of faith. It is normal for us to want to trust the tangible (like a paycheck) instead of our faith. Yet when we do this we are only making our lives harder for ourselves. Our efforts and God's provision must unite.
Money can't buy happiness. Money can't solve all your problems- only God can. Listen to what the Rap stars are singing about: sex and money and drugs... not happiness. These stars still haven't found what they really want. Some of the wealthiest people in the world have the highest risk of suicide and depression. Why? Because they climbed their financial ladders expecting happiness to be at the top. It wasn't there. The road to fame and fortune only leads to fame and fortune. It does not lead to happiness, fulfillment, or satisfaction.
Heaven doesn't get enough attention in my opinion. I think that is because many of us are almost scared to admit we believe it exists. It seems so far off in the distance and so out of touch with our reality that it is easier to just forget about it for now. Perhaps it is time for us to change our mindset. Think about how you feel when you are preparing a trip to a place like Disney World or Paris. In the years, months, weeks, or days leading up to the trip, you are googling pictures, reading reviews, and talking to your friends and family about what it is going to be like. How silly we are! We spend so much time thinking and obsessing over places that completely pale in comparison to Heaven!
Maybe you are thinking to yourself, well at least I can see pictures of Disney World. At least I can read reviews about French food. While it is true the Heaven is a bit harder to know about, the Bible has given us several detailed descriptions. Scripture has outlined what the culture and the people will be like there. I challenge you to take the time to research heaven this week instead of your favorite destination.
Share and Discuss
Do the people in your life know that you are a Christian? I wrestled greatly with this when I first started blogging. Suddenly my social media was covered in faith-based posts and references. What would my unbelieving friends think of me? I was scared. I also must be transparent- when I started posting more spiritual posts some people did unfriend me. But overall, the feedback was highly positive. It was so positive that people I didn't even know were believers in my friend circle started reaching out and telling me that they were. Sharing your faith with others doesn't mean walking around with an I love Jesus T-shirt on, sharing your faith simply means being honest. Talk about the times God has blessed you. Talk about your struggles with prayer. Allow your words about your faith to come out and show up naturally.
Praying is one of the easiest things we can do but also possibly one of the things that gets overlooked the most. I've written an entirely separate article about my experience with prayer which you can read here.
I hope you all enjoyed this Bible study! If you did be sure to leave me some feedback here.