Hebrews 13: Running by the Rules
Ben Johnson of Canada was stripped of the Olympic gold medals he won at Seoul in 1988 because he broke the rules about drug use. Similarly, the Christian's faith-race is much more than a sprint to the finish line. It's a race which brings glory to God by the way the runners behave. In the concluding chapter, the writer to the Hebrews sketches a variety of duties to God and humanity. Together they reveal an exalted level of personal morality and duty.
Warming Up to God
Consider your attitude to God's law. At what times do you find it a burden? When does it help you?
Discovering the Word
- Verses 1-3 tie in with verse 16. In what sense should loving others, doing good, sharing, entertaining strangers and helping the prisoners and the mistreated be considered "sacrifices" to God?
- Sexual purity is one of God's absolutes (v. 4). How do you account for sexual impurity among professing Christians—some of them well-known public figures?
- What facts about God help to keep you from loving money (vv. 5-6)?
- Obligation to spiritual leaders are laid out in verses 7, 17-18. What is here that we should follow?
- In what sense is our praise a sacrifice to God (v. 15)?
Applying the Word
- Which of these exhortations do you need to apply to yourself?
- On the basis of your study of Hebrews, what do you think God would like to "work" in you that would please him?
Responding in Prayer
Verses 20-21 are a benediction, a summary prayer. Make that your prayer for yourself.