SCRIPTURE FROM: Hebrews 13:1-3 (TPT)
TEXT: 1 No matter what, make room in your heart to love every believer. 2 And show hospitality to strangers, for they may be angels from God showing up as your guests. 3 Identify with those who are in prison as though you were there suffering with them, and those who are mistreated as if you could feel their pain.
OBSERVATION: It is evident in this Scripture that we are to love and treat others like Jesus treats us, and that we are not to be selective in the process of doing this. This may seem extremely challenging as we consider loving every believer; hospitality to even strangers; identify with Brothers or Sisters in prison and not just give them ‘canned’ words hoping to comfort them; and also try to understand the suffering, of one who is hurting, to such a degree that you actually hurt with them. This leads us to ‘real’ relationships, not just empty words. Stand by as we meditate further on this…
APPLICATION: I believe that we can seriously say with confidence that the Word of God is alive today, and just as relevant as it has ever been. This Scripture is totally directed to us today, even though it was written and included in the Bible thousands of years ago. The outstanding thing is that this is no coincidence, for the God of this universe – the One who created mankind, knew that His children would not outgrow the selfish desires to please self and to look out for one’s own best interest. However, the reason I believe that you are reading this devotional today, is not just to see how smart, or dumb, I am, but rather hoping that I may share some encouraging thought with you that also helped me. You see, although we are probably some of the weakest creatures on the planet, and we fail often to do those things that we know is right, yet I am convinced that God has placed a desire within us to try and please Him, and possibly try and please others. Therefore, as I learn from the Word, and am constantly reminded of what God expects of me, I look to Him for help and guidance in being obedient to His commands and His teaching. So with that in mind, and in obedience to our Scripture today, let me encourage you and I to:
- Truly love each other – The best way to do this is to love others like we love ourselves, and in response to the King of all kings loving His precious children – you and I. Some of the words I could think of are: in sincerity; without distraction; sacrificially; intentionally; etc;
- Hospitality to even strangers – Although one might be a total stranger to you, they may be a messenger sent from God to bless you, and to give you an opportunity to prove your obedience to God. We must stop thinking about what it might cost us to entertain others, because we stand to gain much more than they might cost us!
- Prisoners – Let’s stop saying that we know how a Christian Brother or Sister might feel sitting in prison. If we’ve never been there, then we don’t know how they feel. Try visiting; try asking about their day; try asking how they feel; try asking how they are being treated; try asking what’s the first thing they would like to do when they get out. Identify with them so you could truly feel like you are in the same cell as they are. Then you may be able to minister to them; and lastly
- Suffering – As mentioned above, it is so easy to say that we know how someone feels. But friends, whether you’ve been there or not, you really don’t know how someone feels. I had two friends recently go through open heart surgery. Each of them had different experiences, and they are going through the recovery process differently. Let us learn to understand what the individual is going through, and may we listen so carefully that our body feels like it is aching in similar fashion to theirs. Learn to never compare your feelings to theirs. They are uniquely designed by God, so their suffering is always different to anything you may be going through.
Friends, as we learn from God’s Word, let us do our utmost to obey it and be more like Christ in every way possible.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, it is such an extreme request to ask that we be more like You, because only You can be God. However, I believe that You would have us follow Your commands, just as You did; walk in Your paths, just as Your specifically did to show us the right path; and love others just as You always loved us, and always will love us, even down to sacrificing Your very life for our sake. Please forgive us for the frequent distractions that we allow to hold us back, and from experiencing Your glory. Lord, may we do something today that others might see as a ‘God-thing’, and may they be drawn to You eternally. May You rule and reign in every aspect of our lives oh Lord! AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!