Tuesday, December 28, 2021

2021.12.28 Hopewell @Home ▫ Hebrews 13:5–6

Hebrews 13:5–6

Questions from the Scripture text: What is our conduct to be without (Hebrews 13:5)? With what are we to be content? What has God said to us? Who is our helper (Hebrews 13:6)? What will we not do? Who can do nothing, ultimately, to harm us?

Next week’s Call to Worship and Prayer for Help come from Hebrews 13:5–6 so that it will be plain that we are singing God’s thoughts after Him with Praise the LORD, My Soul

The preceding verses (Hebrews 13:1-4) identify whom we ought to love. But how can we go about giving ourselves for others and to others, when our selfishness keeps getting in the way? Hebrews 13:5-6 answer that the key to loving like this is a contentment that eliminates covetousness. But how can we find this contentment?

By knowing the LORD alone as our help—the great theme of Psalm 146. Men will fail us. But when the LORD Himself is our help, then our interests are safe in His love. And it is this safety that frees us to imitate Him in loving others by looking out for their interests.

Contentment and peace come by looking unto Jesus, the Forger and Finisher of our faith—to consider Him who endured such hostility against Himself. He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” When we realize that He has given Himself to us (and, therefore, has given us all other things along with Himself), we are freed from slavery to selfishness. It’s impossible for us to desire better for ourselves than Christ has already secured and is insistently giving us!

What more can we add to ourselves that we do not already have? Instead, we now have the privilege of pouring ourselves out for others and knowing that we can lose nothing in the bargain.

Of course, thinking this way doesn’t come naturally to us. So, the Holy Spirit prescribes some theological self-preaching. Like the depressed Psalmist in Psalm 42-43, the covetous believer has a little mini-sermon by which he may address his weak soul. There, it was, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? Hope now in God, for I will yet praise Him. He is my help and my God. Here, the self-preaching is similar. We are to proclaim to ourselves: “Yahweh is my helper. I will not fear. What can man do to me.”

Blessed is the one whose help is the God of Jacob (Psalm 146:5)! Yes, believers have had our name changed to ‘Israel’ (God wrestles), but we so often still act like Jacob (“heel-grabber”; “scoundrel”). God has committed Himself to us, and gets down in the muck to be our help anyway. He is the God of Jacob.

Since this is the case, let us continually put ourselves in mind of the fact that He refuses to leave us or forsake us. The more we learn to live before the face of God, the less we will indulge discontentment or covetousness!

When do you tend to be discontent? How will you remind yourself of Christ at these times? What does your “self-preaching” life look like these days? 

Sample prayer:  Lord, You are our Help. You have given us Yourself and every good thing. Forgive us for that selfishness that shows we have so lightly valued Your gift to us of Yourself. How wicked! And yet, You have redeemed us by Your own blood. So cleanse us from this unrighteousness, we ask in Your Name, AMEN!

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