Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Ten Commandments of Hebrews 13

I am not a very methodical person, not in the manner that I clean house, plan meals, do laundry, or even blog. I've been going through the book of Hebrews for months now, but my method is pretty simple. I pick up a Bible and read through the next few verses and see what pops out at me. But I've done that a number of times with this last chapter, and I just cannot pick one or two things to focus on -- it is too rich.

So at the pool today, where I have a favorite spot at a picnic table under tall pine trees, overlooking the lap pool where my boys have swim practice, I decided to make a list of the great principles of Hebrews 13. They are not the moral foundation of the Commandments given to Moses, but they are nonetheless transformational.

Hence, the Ten Commandments of Hebrews 13:
  1. Show brotherly love.
  2. Be hospitable to strangers. You may even unknowingly entertain angels.
  3. Remember those in prison as though in prison with them.
  4. Remember those who are mistreated, since you have a body and can appreciate how demeaning it must be.
  5. Hold marriage in high esteem.
  6. Watch out for greed. Instead be content with what you have.
  7. Model your lives after strong disciples of Christ.
  8. Don't be led away by "diverse and strange teachings." Instead be strengthened by grace.
  9. Offer up a continual sacrifice of praise -- "that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name."
  10. Share what you have and do not neglect to do good.
It doesn't take too much self-reflection to make a quick assessment. I'm doing alright on a couple of these, but mostly I could do better, much better. How about you?

May I offer some resources? I am familiar with all of these and contribute to some; each is on point for the respective commands.
  1. Wellspring International The humanitarian arm of RZIM.
  2. CouchSurfing This is not something I've actually done, but my friend, Michelle, has. She exemplifies this command and I admire her greatly for it. Plus, she has made some wonderful friends through Couch Surfing, modeled hospitality for her children like no one else, and gained some utterly fantastic stories as well.
  3. Prison Fellowship A wonderful ministry to prisoners and their families.
  4. International Justice Mission A human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation, and other forms of violent oppression.
  5. Love and Respect Ministries A great marriage resource, with wonderful tips for getting off the "crazy cycle."
  6. Crown Financial Ministries Our bank statements reveal much about our priorities. This ministry is dedicated to helping people take a hard look at how they spend their money. It is biblically-based and I highly recommend it.
  7. The C.S. Lewis Institute This ministry is a great way for people in DC, Atlanta, and Annapolis to connect with strong followers of Christ. The mentoring ministry of your local church is another good resource. We must be intentional if we hope to have strong believers in our lives. We can and should pray that God will connect us with good mentors, but we should also be humble and vulnerable enough to ask someone to be a mentor.
  8. RZIM Ravi Zacharias is amazing. He preaches grace and truth and reason. He is funny and brilliant and kind. I am also blessed to be at McLean Bible Church each week, where I am strengthened by grace.
  9. Getty Music One way to keep praising Jesus is to read the Psalms. Another way is to listen to great music, like that of Keith and Kristyn Getty.
  10. Operation Blessing and Compassion International are two ministries that are doing great things all around the world. Operation Blessing is more of a relief organization, and Compassion International connects you via sponsorship with individual children. Both are showing the love of Jesus Christ to many in need.
So this wraps up Hebrews. I've been amazed by how much is in this one book. I'm looking forward to reading it through again with notes and commentary. I know I've only skimmed the surface here on the blog, but I greatly appreciate your willingness to read and learn with me.

As the book itself ends, so will this series: "Grace be with all of you."

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