Hebrews 13 – The Life God Wants 希伯來書 13 – 神要的生命
Tuesday, 18th April 2023
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
Section One V1-9 To Live By God 要靠主过活
What is the life God wants? A life willing to submit under the Will of God, a life of gentleness and humility. We may have plans, we still need to make plans, but when God’s Will is revealed, are we able to put our plan below and under the Will of God? This is the life Jesus has revealed to us 2000 years ago, He has shown us what is the life God wants.
V1-2 “Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.”
V1-2 “你们务要常存弟兄相爱的心。 不可忘记用爱心接待客旅，因为曾有接待客旅的，不知不觉就接待了天使。”
How can we love our brothers as ourselves? Only by God, not by ourselves. Furthermore, we should not just love once but continue to keep this heart of love, to stay in love with one another, and to show hospitality to those who come to us. This is the attitude to humble ourselves and serve us, and this is the faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who were willing to submit under the Will of God. In Genesis, God called Abraham to leave his homeland and his father’s household. He had plan for his life, his father had plans for his life, but Abraham put God’s Plan and God’s Will higher than any other plans.
V3-4 “Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also. Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”
Do we remember the prisoners and those who are being prosecuted? We are also prisoners of this world, our strength is limited and we can only rely on God to live. God does not want us to rely on our own strength, and by admitting our own weakness, we can overcome by God’s strength, love one another, and remember those who are in hardship. Marriage is about relationship and about covenant; the relationship between Jesus and the church is a covenant, do we keep this covenant with Jesus? Do we also keep the relationship with our church, our brothers and sisters, just as how Jesus see the church? This is our spiritual family, our spiritual home, and this is our root, we must respect, and we must protect.
V5-6 “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
Do we treasure the relationship God gave to us? Our relationship with God, our relationship with our authority, our authority with our brothers and sisters, and our relationship with those who follow us. When God puts these relationships in our lives, we must respect. Furthermore, we must not be greedy, not to seek a luxurious life but seek God and always give thanks to God foe everything He has given to us. When we give thanks for everything we have, then we will no longer fear about what we eat or what we lack, because we have submitted under the Will of God, we are living by God, and this is the life God wants.
V7-9 “Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.”
V7-9 “从前引导你们、传神之道给你们的人，你们要想念他们，效法他们的信心，留心看他们为人的结局。 耶稣基督昨日、今日、一直到永远，是一样的。 你们不要被那诸般怪异的教训勾引了去，因为人心靠恩得坚固才是好的，并不是靠饮食。那在饮食上专心的从来没有得着益处。”
Do we remember those who rule over us, those who teach us the Word of God, and those who show faith to us. Faith is to submit below and under the Plan of God, not to rely on our own strength but simple relying on the Will of God. This is the faith taught in the Book of Hebrews, to continue follow humbly, and to bear good fruits until the end. It’s so easy to follow big churches and anointed leaders, but we must see their fruits, what is their influence at the end of their life? We must persevere, to seek God at all times, not people or things of this world.
Jesus’ always the same, His teaching and His life is always the same, not influenced by the cultural of this world. It’s time for us to change our focus back to God, to follow Jesus’ example, not by the things of this world, not by the food we eat, but only by God we can receive strength. Today marks the first day of the second 40-day fasting we will have in our church, we must humble ourselves and really seek God, live by God and submit under the Will of God.
Section Two V10- To Walk in the Way of God 要走主走的道路
V10-16 “We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”
V10-16 “我们有一祭坛，上面的祭物是那些在帐幕中供职的人不可同吃的。 原来牲畜的血被大祭司带入圣所做赎罪祭，牲畜的身子被烧在营外。 所以，耶稣要用自己的血叫百姓成圣，也就在城门外受苦。 这样，我们也当出到营外，就了他去，忍受他所受的凌辱。 我们在这里本没有常存的城，乃是寻求那将来的城。 我们应当靠着耶稣，常常以颂赞为祭献给神，这就是那承认主名之人嘴唇的果子。 只是不可忘记行善和捐输的事，因为这样的祭是神所喜悦的。”
We are not walking our own ways, and we are not seeking what we desire. It’s so easy for us to pray for a good life, to live in a good house, and to do a good job, but God taught us to focus on the future city, not the materialized world in front of us. Jesus never complained about what He was given in this world, all His 12 disciples failed to follow when He went on the cross, He knew their weakness, but He continued to give thanks in the last supper, and submitted to God’s Will wholeheartedly. What is our attitude towards our church and towards God?
We thought we have done enough; we thought the more we give and the more we will receive. But we do not see that everything we have is from God, it’s never about how much we give, but our attitude of giving and serving. Jesus knew He was going on the cross, but He continued to serve during the three years of His Ministry. He knew His timing, He was willing to submit under the Will of God, and He did everything according to God’s timing, not His own timing. Do we feel that the church is forcing us into things? Do we feel restricted and limited? Or do we see God’s Will above all else, be willing to go below and under, and stop letting our plans come in the way of God’s Plan.
V17-19 “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably. But I especially urge you to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.”
V17-19 “你们要依从那些引导你们的，且要顺服，因他们为你们的灵魂时刻警醒，好像那将来交账的人。你们要使他们交的时候有快乐，不致忧愁，若忧愁就于你们无益了。请你们为我们祷告，因我们自觉良心无亏，愿意凡事按正道而行。 我更求你们为我祷告，使我快些回到你们那里去。”
Those who rule over us are watching out for our souls, they are always being alert to the Holy Spirit and the guidance of God, are we willing to follow and to be submissive? In the same way, we should also stay alert, in the interaction with God, to hear the small voice of the Holy Spirit, not in a religious way, but to live a life below and under the guidance of God. Therefore, it’s important to not only pray for ourselves but for those who are leading us and guiding us. We must always ask God to lead our leaders to walk the Way of Jesus, to continue the path of God, and to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Section Three V20-25 To Live Out the Presence of God 要活出神同在
V20-25 “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. And I appeal to you, brethren, bear with the word of exhortation, for I have written to you in few words. Know that our brother Timothy has been set free, with whom I shall see you if he comes shortly. Greet all those who rule over you, and all the saints. Those from Italy greet you. Grace be with you all. Amen.”
V20-25 “但愿赐平安的神，就是那凭永约之血使群羊的大牧人我主耶稣从死里复活的神，在各样善事上成全你们，叫你们遵行他的旨意，又借着耶稣基督在你们心里行他所喜悦的事。愿荣耀归给他，直到永永远远！阿门。弟兄们，我略略写信给你们，望你们听我劝勉的话。你们该知道，我们的兄弟提摩太已经释放了。他若快来，我必同他去见你们。请你们问引导你们的诸位和众圣徒安。从意大利来的人也问你们安。 愿恩惠常与你们众人同在！阿门。”
What is to live out the presence of God? It is to bear the fruits of God. Psalm 1 tells us to bear fruit in seasons, to follow God’s timing, not our own timing and not our own will. This is the life God wants, and this is the life God created us to live in, therefore let us continue to press on and live pleasing to God!