Text: Hebrews 13:1-6
Theme: We should choose to love others with empathy and satisfaction.
Key verses: “Keep on loving others as brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies. Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage….Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.’ So we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper…” (v. 1-6a).
What God said to me: Dwayne, good morning. It’s been several days since you took time to meet with me and journal what I say to you. This cannot be. You must be consistent and constant in your journaling. There are several reasons for this. 1. Journaling makes you have to listen as one being taught. You have no choice but try to glean something from your time with me in my Word. 2. Journaling focuses you on my Word and my voice. You are so easily and often distracted by your own thoughts and activities. You allow your cell phone and iPad to pull you away by a mere ding or click or red alert light on Facebook. My thoughts are higher than your thoughts; my ways higher than your ways. Seek me with all your heart–not your own inferior ideas and distractions. 3. Journaling is a much-needed discipline for you as a writer. You should be writing something every day. It keeps you fresh in your writing skills and gives you new ideas and techniques from which to draw later. 4. By consistently journaling what you’re learning, you can look back in the months and years to come and see what I’ve taught you and how you’ve grown. Journaling can act much like memorial stones of the Old Testament. 5. When you journal and share it online, you encourage others and allow others to also glean from what I’m teaching you. Now on to today’s passage: There will never come a time when you get off the hook for loving others “as brothers and sisters.” There are so many twisted ideas of love out there. But the author here has defined what he means by loving others when he specified as brothers and sisters. You are never to look at women lustfully for what you can get from them for yourself. You must love them as if they are your sisters. You must be satisfied with the wife of your youth and let her breasts satisfy you at all times–not a stranger’s. Furthermore, you can’ t be controlled and motivated by money. Be satisfied with the money I have provided to you. Be good stewards of it. Learn to live within your means and be content with that. You can’t properly love others and serve them if you are discontent with what you have. You will be tempted to use others for monetary gain. The love of money can also cause you to lean on money and those who have lots of money rather than depending on me and my faithful provisions in your life. This cannot be. I alone am your source, your provider, your Jehovah-Jireh. I will never fail you or abandon you. In this awesome truth always be satisfied and grateful.
What I said to God: Precious and loving Lord, You are my all in all. You are my reason to live and breath and have my being. This time last week I had just gotten out of the hospital from a near-death experience. “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Lord, if You’ve taught me anything that actually got through my thick skull, it’s that You are my portion and the strength of my heart. Thank You for sparing my life and giving me a few more years on this earth to serve You. I am humbled and grateful. Please help me not waste a day or an hour. Please help me be more fervent in sharing Your love with anyone and everyone I can. I choose to love others and be satisfied in You. By Your grace and only Your grace, I can fulfill my calling and love even as I am loved.