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Hebrews 13 (ESV)
Sacrifices Pleasing to God
13 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 3 Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. 4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. 5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear; what can man do to me?” 7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 9 Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. 10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. 12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. 13 Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. 14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. 15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. 17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. 18 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. 19 I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.
20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
22 I appeal to you, brothers, bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. 23 You should know that our brother Timothy has been released, with whom I shall see you if he comes soon. 24 Greet all your leaders and all the saints. Those who come from Italy send you greetings. 25 Grace be with all of you.
In what areas should brotherly love define Christians?
Heavenly Father, You loved all of mankind so much that You sent Your beloved son to die so that all may live. You have saved all sins and gave promised eternal life to all who accept that gift. Anyone who believes is an adopted child of God. As my Heavenly Father, You care about my every need. You have promised that You will not leave my side. I will have Your gracious presence with me, in life, at death, and forever. The things of this world are nothing compared to Your love. It is out of Your love that I am able to love others. Help me to respond to Your precious gifts and promises by living as an active and loving member of the Christian community. Especially during this time of unrest, hatred, and fear, let my behavior toward others demonstrate Your love to all people. Allow me to be hospitable and gracious to not only to my Christian brothers and sisters but also to strangers in need. Help me to be generous with the numerous gifts You have given me and be satisfied with what I have. Strengthen my marriage and let that relationship grow in love and honor so that we may serve You together. Help me to support leaders, especially those who are trying to do Your will in the world and specifically in the church. Give them discernment and direction to lead with Your wisdom and grace. Let our church community be a place of grace where all people will find love, meaning, and hope. Help Shepherd of the Hills to be a community of love, hospitality, help, faithfulness, and contentment. May we please you by our worship, serving, and generous giving. In Christ’s Holy Name. Amen