New Life, New Lifestyle
This verse introduces us to the Christian goals of being grateful and worshiping God acceptably. But how exactly can we show that such aims have become a reality in our lives? The answer is provided in part in the following chapter: we are to love one another, show hospitality to strangers, remember those who are in prison, and maintain sexual purity within marriage (Hebrews 13:1-4).
These attitudes of gratitude and worship are founded upon and a response to all of the previous twelve chapters in the book of Hebrews. The writer has made it clear that he is writing to those who have already come to hold firmly to Christ. In other words, they have acknowledged their sin, they have embraced Christ as their Savior, and they have been included in the family of faith. They have been given a place in “a kingdom that cannot be shaken”—a perfect, eternal realm that will encompass the whole renewed world when its King returns.
So worship does not precede kingdom membership; it reveals it. It is because we are members of that kingdom that we live lives of gratitude and worship. God’s commands are not a list of regulations that allow individuals to make themselves acceptable to God and to one another. Our lifestyle is an evidence of our life. These godly behaviors do not create the life. They simply reveal it.
God will never exhort you to do something without providing you with the resources to be able to fulfill it. When He says He wants you to love others, care for the stranger, and remember the prisoner, He also provides the grace that enables you to do it. You are called to genuinely care for people because He, the Lord Jesus, looked on people and saw them as sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36; Mark 6:34). You are called to a life of purity because you were bought with “the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1:19).
What, then, are your actions saying to your friends, to your neighbors, to your family, and to your entire sphere of influence—no matter how big or small? Be known for your gratitude. Be known for your worship. But do not finish reading this and simply determine to be more grateful, more worshipful, and more obedient. Finish it rejoicing that you have been given “a kingdom that cannot be shaken,” ruled by a gentle King who cannot be defeated. It is as you look at Him, and not at yourself, that you will find yourself filling with gratitude and desiring to worship Him throughout all of your life.
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
Confirm Your Calling and Election
3His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to3 his own glory and excellence,4 4by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,5 and virtue with knowledge, 6and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8For if these qualities6 are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10Therefore, brothers,7 be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.
Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotionals by Alistair Begg, published by The Good Book Company, thegoodbook.com. Used by Truth For Life with permission. Copyright © 2021, 2022, The Good Book Company.
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