Tag Archives: Hebrews

showing our thankfulness

Being thankful can display itself in many ways. Along with encouraging us to always offer thanksgiving, the writer of Hebrews suggests two ways we can show our thankfulness.

Hebrews 13:16 says, “And do not forget to do good and to share with others. For with such sacrifices, God is pleased.”

2 Ways to Illustrate Thankfulness

Doing Good

This is seeing how we can benefit the world around us and doing it. This is interjecting good in what we do every day.

In January 1925, a 6-year-old boy showed signs of Diphtheria. This signaled the possibility of an outbreak in the small town of Nome, Alaska. When the boy passed away a day later, Dr. Curtis Welch began immunizing children and adults with an experimental, but effective, vaccine. Dr. Welch’s supply was small and soon depleted. The nearest vaccine was located in Nenana. The towns were separated by 600 miles of frozen wilderness. A group of trappers and prospectors agreed to cover the distance with their dog teams running a relay from trading post and trapping station and beyond. One sled started from each town. Drivers ignoring the risk of frostbite, fatigue, and exhaustion. Braving the -50-degree winds for 120 hours, the relay team was able to deliver the vaccine to Nome. The result was the avoidance of a pandemic as only one other life was lost to the disease. The good deed of these individuals gave an entire town life.

To us, these men are heroes. To themselves, they may have just been doing what they did every day; braving the elements to accomplish the task at hand. Good comes in all shapes and sizes. It does not have to be headline grabbing to have a tremendous impact. What good can you do today?

Sharing with Others

Perhaps this is easier to picture. We have something that would benefit another person, so we share it with him or her. Money is obviously the first thing that comes to mind, but financially is not the only way we can share with one another.

One example of someone sharing what they have is the Hopkins family. The family has a Black Friday tradition of donating blood rather than shopping. “It’s a way to give back. I think a lot of times when we go shopping it’s for things that people want, but this something that obviously people need, so we feel privileged to be able to provide that,” said Mike Hopkins. The Hopkins family is sharing with their neighbors in a big way.

Doing good and sharing with others are just a couple ways we can live out our thankfulness to the Lord. As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, what good can we do? What can we share with others? The Lord has been gracious to us, and we can illustrate our thankfulness through our actions.

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4 reasons to always have thanksgiving

While at the store purchasing a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, a little boy said to his mother, “Thanksgiving should come after Christmas, then we would have more reasons to be thankful.”

In the fast-paced, bad news culture in which we live, it is easy to overlook reasons to be thankful, yet there are reasons to offer praise to the Lord.

Always Have Thanksgiving

The writer of Hebrews encourages us to always have Thanksgiving. “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise, the fruit of lips that openly profess his name,” implores Hebrews 13:15.

Reasons to be Thankful

We are encouraged to continually offer thanks to the Lord. This is not because it has been a super year or everything in life is grand right now. For many that is not the case; however, there are still reasons to offer thanks.

  1. The Lord is continually with us. God promises he will not leave us or abandon us.
  2. The Lord is not changing his mind about his Promises. Hebrews 13:8 reminds us Jesus Christ is the same today, yesterday, and forever.
  3. Our current situation and circumstances are only temporary. The Lord promises he will come again.
  4. The Lord grants us life.

What reasons do you have to be thankful? Take a moment to make a mental note of your thankful list.

Someone has said, “Even though I clutch my blankets and groan when the alarm goes off, thank you for a new day. Even though I try to block out the light, thank you Lord that the sun rises. Even though I dread it, thanks God that I have the privilege of getting out of bed. Even though my family gets on my nerves, I’m thankful you blessed me with them.”

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not yet home

Quick word of caution. This story may cause a tear to fall.

An elderly man was in a hospital room and he was fading quickly. The nurses and doctors decided it was time to call the gentleman’s family, and they gathered around his bed. As he was lying there, holding his wife of 50 years hand, looking at his son and grandchildren, he whispered, “Don’t cry. I’ll see all of you again. This was not my permanent home; I’m only passing through.”

A moment later, the man looked up and said, “I can see the Lord’s face.” Peacefully, the man fell asleep and went to be with the Lord.

“For this world is not our permanent home. We are looking forward to a world yet to come.”

Hebrews 13:14 reminds us this is only a temporary stop in eternity. The original recipients of Hebrews were undergoing severe persecution, and the writer wanted to offer some much-needed encouragement to them. The Lord was with them, and he was not going anywhere (Hebrews 13:6). This persecution was only going to last a little while, and a better day would be coming.

This verse serves as encouragement for us as well. No matter our current situation, we can truly say it is only temporary as this is not our permanent home. The struggles and difficulties this life brings do not last forever. They give way to something much better. They give way to Heaven.

While we don’t fully know what Heaven will be like, the Bible does tell us it will be a glorious place. There will be no pain, sorrow, or difficulty. Today’s struggles will be gone. There will be no pandemics or tensions caused by skin color. There will be no hurt or heartache. Rather, Scripture says there will be peace. The lame will walk, the deaf will hear, the blind will see. Heaven will be glorious.

Struggling today? Remember, this is not our permanent home. We are awaiting one that will be far better.

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being content

A Content Life

In a 2010 interview, Eunice Sandborn, age 114, said she had a happy life. She didn’t have any complaints. She believed complaining was a choice, and in her 114 years, there were times she had to choose not to complain. Eunice was content as she celebrated her birthday making her the oldest living person in the world.

The Search for Contentment

It seems Eunice had found contentment. We all search for it. Some look for it in a big home, there are those who look for it in how many cars they own, and still others search for contentment in a bank account balance. Being content is a desire we all share, and Scripture encourages us to find our contentment in the Lord.

Hebrews 13:6 says, “Don’t love money. Be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”

Finding Contentment

Life has seasons of plenty and seasons of need. The writer of Hebrews reminds us the Lord is with us in both seasons. We may even find the most contentment in the leanest of seasons.

The words of Hebrews 13:6 point to the complete reliability of God and his promises. God’s people can count on him no matter what comes.

Remember, wherever you are in life today, the Lord is saying to you, “I will never fail you. I will not abandon you.”

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Responding to Change

One key to getting through change.

Raise your hand if you like change. My hand is not up. In fact, I have it tied down just in case you thought it could possibly be going up. I have a strong dislike for change. I’m happiest in routine; a daily routine that fits into a weekly routine. Everything is better when it fits into the routine.

I imagine you’re the same. No one cares for change. We like to have the “when” and “where” of life. Change is unsettling; however, it is a requirement of life.

Change is inevitable; it will come. Our routine will be disrupted much throughout life. Illnesses, lost jobs, financial struggles, heartbreak, and many other disruptions will occur. The change may even force us into uncharted territory. It’s unnerving and we can’t control the change, but we can control how we respond.

The Bible gives us the example of Abraham to help us understand how to respond to change. Abraham was called to leave everything he knew. Abraham was to leave home and go into uncharted territory. This was a huge change for Abraham.

With his family and belongings, Abraham left his routine and headed into the unknown. He was uncertain of the path. He was unsure of the destination. His routine was fluctuating. For Abraham, this one change unsettled everything. The only certainty Abraham had was the Lord.

Abraham knew the Lord was with him. He knew the Lord would guide him, so he responded to the change with faith.

“It was by faith,” Hebrews 11:8 says, “Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.”

Abraham’s faith allowed him to focus on what was to come rather than the change.

Hebrews 11:10 says, “Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations. A city designed and built by God.”

Right now, our routines are being disrupted. Many of us are scrambling to adjust in an evolving situation. It can be unsettling. While we may be uncertain of everything else, we can be sure of one thing. The Lord is with us.

The Lord will guide us in this uncharted territory. The Lord will get us to our destination just like he did Abraham. Like Abraham, we need to remember change is only temporary. The Lord has something better for us on the other side.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green and they never stop producing fruit.”

You and I may hate it, but change is inevitable. Abraham’s story reminds a faithful response is best in these moments.

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The Constant in an Ever-Changing Crisis

Everything around us may be swirling and tossing, but the Lord is staying.

The current landscape is ever-changing. Society is amid a health crisis, which is rapidly evolving. Information is changing daily, perhaps even every few hours, and we must adjust our approach at a breakneck speed. It can certainly be overwhelming as everything is changing around us, but there is one constant.

Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

The Lord is our constant in an evolving time. Everything around us may be swirling and tossing, but the Lord is staying. He is the same today as he was yesterday, and he will be the same tomorrow as he is today. And, the Lord has already displayed his power over everything.

He calmed a storm and overpowered demons in an evening’s work. Mark’s Gospel records this eventful night.

Power on display.

Power to calm the storm.

After Jesus wrapped up a day of preaching, he and the disciples were crossing a large lake, and a fierce storm developed. The Bible says the wind was howling and waves were crashing over the boat filling it with water, but Jesus was asleep.

The panicked disciples woke him, but Jesus didn’t panic. He calmly rebuked the storm and it obeyed. The disciples were amazed and pointed out even the wind and the waves obey the Lord.

What caused the disciples to panic, Jesus calmly controlled? He was their constant in a storm, and he was constantly in control.

Power to free the man.

The excitement continued across the lake. A man, who was possessed by demons, ran to meet Jesus. He was screaming. Jesus overpowered the demons. He freed the man from their bondage and sent them over the cliff into the water. All were amazed at Jesus’ power.

What caused everyone difficulty and stress, Jesus calmly controlled. The demons were no match for Jesus.

The evening from the disciple’s perspective.

What a night the disciples experienced. Their trip across the lake was interrupted by a strong storm. They were panicked and anxious. They finally get across the lake, but their hopes of having a calm moment are interrupted by a screaming man in the dark.

Either of these events would be enough to unnerve the disciples, but they experienced both in one night. Panic, uncertainty, and anxiety may describe the disciple’s emotions that night, but Jesus met the night with calmness and constant control.

Relating to the disciples.

Right now, you and I may feel like the disciples felt on that night. Panic, anxiety, and uncertainty may be emotions we are feeling today. The days and weeks ahead have us in suspense. Everything is rapidly evolving around us, but we can take courage in the fact the Lord is constant. In an ever-changing world, the Lord is never changing.

“So, we can say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear…,” says Hebrews 13:6.