Benediction and Farewell
Open Your Bible
Hebrews 13:1-25, Joshua 1:5-9, Matthew 25:34-40
Scripture Reading: Hebrews 13:1-25, Joshua 1:5-9, Matthew 25:34-40
After thirteen chapters of establishing our great hope and exhorting us to godly living, Hebrews closes with a succinct reminder that all hope comes from Christ who is the “same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). The root of all godly living is the person of Christ. He is both our hope and our source of righteousness.
At the close of the this book, the author recommends a handful of what Matthew Henry calls “excellent duties”: show love and hospitality, care for the mistreated, honor marriage, eschew the love of money, and be satisfied with what you have. This final exhortation to contentment certainly loosens the reins and makes the other excellent duties easier. If one is content, the love of money can’t tempt and the shine of someone prettier or younger doesn’t lure.
Have you ever known someone who is truly content? The author of Hebrews points us first and foremost to the example of Christ. But we are also encouraged to watch the fruit of other leaders and, if that fruit is good, imitate their faith.
The most contented person I know is Nell. You probably don’t know her; she’s not famous. I met her in college, but she wasn’t the first friend I made. She was quiet and I was so busy making sure everyone knew how much fun I was, I didn’t notice her.
But once I did notice her, I couldn’t stop. Nell doesn’t push, she doesn’t demand, even though she has stronger opinions than most. But she loves like a fountain, and she is content. These days she homeschools her six children in a small house by a river. She is teaching them the art of contentment by giving them what they need, but not what they demand. She shows them how to be content by being at peace herself. Instead of chasing the world, she has found that her rooms crowded with love hold the very best the world has to offer her.
Light your corner of the world, friends—wherever it may be. And if these excellent duties of love and contentment seem impossible, do not fear; they are impossible. This is why the book of Hebrews was written: to point us always back to our need for Christ. He is our helper, “who promises to never leave us or forsake us” (v.5).
Lift your eyes to the eternal glory of Christ, for He is our hope in things both large and small. Any excellence and contentment that flows out of our lives will come from Him. Because of His sanctifying blood, we are made new creatures—creatures capable of hospitality and contentment. Jesus is our hope. He is our strength. And He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.
Rebecca Faires loves the gospel story and needs it every morning when she wakes up to her five little people. Rebecca holds a bachelor’s degree in German from Hillsdale College, and most recently worked as the managing editor and writer at She Reads Truth. She now works from her log cabin in the hills of Tennessee, writing and illustrating books with her favorite mountain man. There she enjoys porch-sitting as it rains, reading the Oxford English Dictionary, and getting in way over her head. She is expecting her sixth baby and her first book in February of 2019.