Episode #217. Today we’ll read Hebrews chapter 13 together. The author of Hebrews gives final exhortations, a benediction, and a farewell.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #217. Today we’ll read Hebrews chapter 13 together: The author of Hebrews gives final exhortations, a benediction, and a farewell.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
My husband and I have been on 6 overseas mission trips during the past 8 years through our church. We’ve participated in 5 trips to Tanzania and 1 to Indonesia. The size of our team has varied through the years, from as few as 2 members to over a dozen.
A mission trip involves a lot of planning and preparation. We generally begin having regular meetings anywhere from a year to 18 months before we leave. We have money to raise and materials to purchase, and classes where we instruct newcomers on how to prepare and what to expect on their first trip to a foreign land. There are Bibles and Pastor library books to purchase, usually by the dozens or hundreds.
The trip to Tanzania takes about 24 hours from the time the plane takes off from San Francisco Airport to the time it lands at Kilimanjaro Airport outside the city of Arusha. It’s an awfully long time to spend in a tight seat on a crowded plane, but the time always passes.
Tanzania is in southeast Africa, on the Indian Ocean. It is a beautiful country with a wide variety of landscapes and ecosystems. It can also be a very hot, dry and dusty country, with few of the amenities to which Americans are accustomed. The people there are welcoming and kind, and we have made many good friends over the years.
The Great Commission
My husband and I participate in these mission trips because we are commanded to do so by Christ Himself. Matthew 28:18-20 records the departing words of Christ Jesus as follows: “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Hebrews Chapter 13
Let brotherly love continue. Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it. Remember those in prison, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily. Marriage is to be honored by all and the marriage bed kept undefiled, because God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers. Keep your life free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for he himself has said, I will never leave you or abandon you. Therefore, we may boldly say,
The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
Remember your leaders who have spoken God’s word to you. As you carefully observe the outcome of their lives, imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Don’t be led astray by various kinds of strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be established by grace and not by food regulations, since those who observe them have not benefited. We have an altar from which those who worship at the tabernacle do not have a right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the most holy place by the high priest as a sin offering are burned outside the camp. Therefore, Jesus also suffered outside the gate, so that he might sanctify the people by his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing his disgrace.
A Sacrifice of Praise
For we do not have an enduring city here; instead, we seek the one to come. Therefore, through him let us continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. Don’t neglect to do what is good and to share, for God is pleased with such sacrifices. Obey your leaders and submit to them, since they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account, so that they can do this with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. Pray for us, for we are convinced that we have a clear conscience, wanting to conduct ourselves honorably in everything. And I urge you all the more to pray that I may be restored to you very soon.
Benediction and Farewell
Now may the God of peace, who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus — the great Shepherd of the sheep — through the blood of the everlasting covenant, equip you with everything good to do his will, working in us what is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Brothers and sisters, I urge you to receive this message of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. Be aware that our brother Timothy has been released. If he comes soon enough, he will be with me when I see you. Greet all your leaders and all the saints. Those who are from Italy send you greetings. Grace be with you all.
The subtitle of Hebrews Chapter 13 in my Bible is “Final Exhortations”. An Exhortation is “an address or communication emphatically urging someone to do something.” And yes, I did look that up in the dictionary.
The writer certainly provides readers with more than a few instructions: show hospitality, honor marriage, be satisfied with what you have, remember your leaders…and many, many more. It’s almost as if the author had limited time or materials and wanted to get all his thoughts down before he finished. I guess he was hurrying so he could try to meet up with Timothy!
Speaking of finishing, we just completed another book of the Bible…tomorrow we begin on the book of James, who has a very no-nonsense approach to Christian living…but more on that tomorrow. For now, let’s pat ourselves on the back for persevering through 19 books of the New Testament…picture an air high-5 coming your way.
We have just 8 books to go now…I hope you stay with me to the end! Let’s pray.
Dear Father, thank you for the author of Hebrews. We don’t know if it was Paul or Apollos or another disciple you anointed to write this book, but it is so full of truth and tells us in no uncertain terms just who Your Son is, Jesus Christ. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for being the fulfillment of God’s promises to us. Thank you for your sacrifice on a cross outside the gate…we would be lost forever without you. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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