The letter to the new Jewish believers is coming to an end. As we close any letter, sermon, book, etc., there is usually a summation of what the important take-aways should be. This letter does a beautiful job of that. The author is giving them (and us) a workable set of guidelines to follow. I never like to think about my faith and behavior in terms of “expectations” or “rules,” but I do like to know what pleases God.
Just like in marketing, we don’t sell the drug, we sell the cure. We focus on what the benefits are, what problems need a solution. Here, the new believers need the clarity of who they are following and what that looks like. We know our lives are transformed when we meet Jesus, but often times we don’t know how to act and don’t want to fall back into our wicked ways.
The author has some great points here for us.
- Be true to God and offer him our praise and devotion.
- Obey our spiritual leaders
- Do good in the world
- Share with those in need (this really pleases God)
- Pray for our leaders and teachers
I don’t see anything in that list that looks particularly hard. So simple you might even think it unnecessary to point it out. Yet, we are all sinners who think we have all the answers. We are all at a different place in our journey. For those of us who have been believers for a long time, this list seems simple. For a new believer who doesn’t know what spending time with God looks like or who their spiritual leaders are they should be obeying, or even how to pray–this list could be more difficult. But having a list is helpful.
The author’s prayer for his readers (and us) was beautiful. I, too, pray that God will equip us with all we need for doing his will. I especially desire to know what his will is. The only way I’m going to know that is to ask. He will show me. Having goodness well up and spill over because of Jesus’ power also sounds amazing. I know how good it feels to have his Spirit working in me, prompting me, and comforting me. If you haven’t had such experiences, ask him, invite him in.
God’s plans for us are so much better than we can imagine. I wonder at times if I’ve missed out on opportunities he was preparing for me because I just didn’t see, I just didn’t hear, or I just didn’t know any better. It’s not too late to tune our ears in to hear and open our eyes to see. We just need to be intentional about it. God is not in the business of dropping pianos on our head to get our attention!
It’s our job to be so tuned in through our time of devotion and praise that we have clarity as to what God is calling us to do. Don’t rush those times. If your tuning fork or antennas are not working properly, figure out how to fix that and move forward. Don’t fret over missed opportunities, rejoice there are more joyous moments ahead.
In the words of the author, “May God’s grace be with you all.”
Let’s pray. Father forgive me for those times when I have not been tuned in to your message for me. I am truly sorry for all of the lost opportunities you had prepared for me. I know you have created me for greatness and the best is yet to come. Use me to help others in this world. I feel this is where you are calling me. Open the doors that need to be opened. Thank you for how you are cleansing my heart and opening my eyes each day. Bring others to me who need to hear your message. In Jesus’ name. Amen.