Digging in Deeper: Hebrews 13:20-25

“Now may the God of peace, who brough 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.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

At long last, today we arrive at our big finish. This has been quite a journey. We are going to end today with a blessing. It’s not a blessing from me, but from the author. As we reflect on where we’ve come, let’s talk about this blessing and where we go from here.

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 13:18-19

“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.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Why do we pray? What should we pray for? There is wisdom on this throughout the Scriptures. Here, we see a couple of things as specific examples. With only one more stop on our journey through Hebrews, this morning, let’s take a look at the author’s final prayer request and talk about prayer in our own lives.

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 13:14-16

“For we do not have an enduring city here; instead, we seek the one to come. Therefore, through him let us continually offer upt o 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.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What is the end of the things we are doing? Are they for some end in this world, or do they extend beyond that? When we worship, are we doing it for something in this world, or something more? The object of our aim has a great impact on the nature of what we do. As we get near to the end of the letter, let’s talk about our worship and how we should do it if our goal is a world beyond this one.

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Digging in Deeper: Hebrews 13:10-13

“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.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

The first sermon series I ever preached was through the letter of Hebrews. I don’t honestly remember why now. It was probably because I was fresh out of seminary and feeling ready to take on the world with my preaching. I still have all those manuscripts on a hard drive somewhere. I don’t particularly want to go back and read them as they were probably all pretty bad. My congregation was gracious to remember I was fresh out of seminary and had never pastored a church before and endured them patiently. I do remember that I labeled all my sections and made sure my big idea was in bold. They would have gotten at least Bs on manuscript form alone were I still in class. I think I wound up doing the series in something like eight weeks, which after this journey of nearly eight months, I can’t even imagine. Were I to preach through Hebrews again, it would be a much longer and very different series. In those eight weeks, do you know what I didn’t cover? Chapter 13. I didn’t touch it at all. We got to chapter 12, and then went on to the next series. These four verses are a big part of why. I’m still not totally sure what to do with them. This morning is going to be a bit of an exercise in figuring it out, and you get to join me in that.

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Morning Musing: Hebrews 13:8-9

“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.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

There was a day when Christianity was the new kid on the block and people who had a sufficient amount of disposable income that their time wasn’t completely taken up by working themselves to the bone just to put food on the table and a roof over their head were very interested in it. Rich people like that are always drawn to the latest and greatest. Actually, everyone is. Rich people simply have the time to explore it more thoroughly. With 2,000 years of history under its belt now, Christianity is no longer the latest idea out there. And yet, its very stability over the centuries is a source of strength. Let’s talk about why the latest and greatest pales in comparison to a God who doesn’t change.

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