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Love and Christian Duty

(Hebrews 13:1-16)

Lesson 14 -- third quarter 1997
August 31, 1997

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1997, Christian Light Publications

Look at all these opportunities to grow in faith!

Remember what I mean? "I also believe that the greatness and readiness of our faith are also completely inseparable from our own faithfulness to God." I suggest you review at least that paragraph from lesson 12.

Perhaps today's printed text strikes you as top heavy with many wide-ranging commandments. Maybe as you read (or listen to) this lesson you are even in somewhat of a defiant, rebellious or sullen mood--and you just don't want to hear a bunch more restrictions and expectations rammed down your throat.

Well, let me suggest two new perspectives for you then. First, if you help yourself and chew your food thoughtfully, nobody is going to ram anything down your throat. (Sure, go ahead and grin with me!) Second, look at the host of stepping-stones to faith in today's portion.

Brotherly love. Look around you (literally and figuratively). Do you see anybody in need of brotherly love? Did any strangers show up in your community or in your church service? And I'm sure you can find ways to show brotherly love to those in bonds (of chains or depression) and to those suffering adversity. Faithfulness builds faith.

Conjugal love. Included in the love of spouses is physical intimacy. That is an honorable relationship. Excluded from all other love relationships is physical union. Such oneness outside marriage is a defilement that God will judge. Keep your body pure. Keep your spirit pure. Keep your soul pure. Guard your eyes, your thoughts, your ears and your emotions. Faithfulness builds faith.

Contentment. Each day, tend the garden of your heart. As soon as you see covetousness start to sprout, root it out. Don't wait to see if the sun will dry it up. Don't wait to see how tall it will grow before you need help pulling it out. Don't wait to see what color it will be this time. Just yank it out, and be content with what you have. Remember His promise and do not fear but be bold. Faithfulness builds faith.

Submission. Part of submission is obedience. As your church leaders and parents present the Word of the Lord to you, obey as unto the Lord. Another aspect of submission is following. Learn about the faith of those in authority over you; if it is biblical, you've got a pattern to cut around! (Girls, you might have to explain the figure of speech....) Study the results of their lives and life styles; if they are biblical, you have a handy mold to pour into. Don't be so foolish as to disregard godly example. Faithfulness builds faith.

Steadfastness. When you have the truth, don't let it go! Beware of running hither and yon, looking for new teachings and pursuing new teachers. Especially watch out for those who use the Scriptures to peddle their products and ideas. Jesus never changes and His Word is settled in heaven, so why look for something new? This is not an attack on growth; it is an appeal for stability. Faithfulness builds faith.

Loyalty. Stick by your Lord. Follow Him wherever He leads. The path will take you without the camp, toward the continuing city which is yet to come. The path will take you away from anything and anyone else who would supplant Jesus in your life. Faithfulness builds faith.

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