Dear Student of the Word,
I got back from Africa a few days ago, and it's already time for your next installment of our online studies. I had mentioned in the last study that this would be the last part from Hebrews, but I was mistaken. There will be one more and then we will move on to Luke. Also, I have begun the arduous process of editing every one of these studies for publication! That is a massive task, but God is up to it I am sure. If you would like to contribute toward this project or fund the publishing costs, please get in touch with me or contribute through my website. Here is what I wrote in the seventh segment of this seven-part installment:
Part Eleven, Day Seven
4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."
13:4 – This seems so straightforward, but marriage today is under attack like never before. Same-sex unions, the ease of divorce, the acceptance of cohabitation, Internet pornography, and materialism all work to dishonor and discredit traditional, biblical marriage. The truth is that God has judged and will judge adulterers and fornicators. But the lax, permissive moral state of modern society makes even that statement of judgment sound so harsh.
Yet God’s forgiveness extends to the sexually impure, and in today’s culture it’s hard to find someone who isn’t tainted by this plague. So the Church needs to maintain this standard of purity, while extending grace and forgiveness to all who fall short.
13:5 – You may be going through rough economic times, just as some of the original readers were. Some of their hardships were due to their faith in Christ. It is so easy for money and our “stuff” to get a hold of us, especially with materialism and greed being so prevalent today. Are you free from the love of money and possessions? When I started my business many years ago, I had to face the hold money had on me. I “panicked” when I didn’t have enough of a cushion in my bank account or a few dollars in my pocket. I had to face the fact that I derived a great amount of security from money and not God.
It also takes work to be content with what you have. Once again, I am guilty of seeing what others have and wanting that. I am working at being content with what I have instead of pining away for what I don’t have. It isn’t always easy. Are you struggling with the same problem?
But in the context of this issue of money and possessions, the writer quoted a promise that is seen two other times in the Bible. The Lord promised Joshua (see Joshua 1:5) and Solomon (see 1 Chronicles 28:20) that He would never leave them, and He makes the same promise to us in this verse. If you don’t have money or possessions, you have something far greater—God Himself!
How long is “never”? It is a long time! The Lord has promised that He will always be with you, never forsaking you. That is powerful. In these last few years since I started my ministry, I may not always have had money, but I have found something much better—I have found God! God is so faithful, but we are sometimes reminded of that only in hard times.
Brother or sister, do you know that God will never leave you? Can you comprehend the wonderful truth and good news that He will never forsake you? Money will come and go, possessions will wear out, success may visit and depart. Through it all, however, Jesus has said He will never, ever forsake you. And if Jesus says “never,” that means “never.” End of discussion. Amen.
As always, I welcome your comments to this week's study. For additional Bible studies, check out my website archive, which contains a complete collection of all my verse-by-verse New Testament studies, along with the daily devotional entitled What Would Jesus Ask You Today? Thank you and I hope you continue to enjoy this study of Hebrews from God's word.