God has created each person in his image, and each one deserves our respect and hospitality. God’s love and compassion touches every person, regardless of background, place, class, or kindred. As servants of Christ, our service and care are not based on their sense of worthiness, but on God’s image that each person inherently bears. As such, we should treat each one according to their own dignity and worth, showing each one the mercy and love the Father shows to us all.
The saints should be in healthy competition with one another – to outdo each other in the way we show affection, care, and devotion to one another. Let us strive to best one another in the way we show kindness, love, and service to each other, as prized children of our heavenly Father.
Grant us the will to outdo one another in affection and devotion, looking for ways to bless each other with kindness and care as you give us opportunity to cherish one another. For Christ’s sake, amen.
Finally, believers live out their priestly calling as they love one another, show hospitality and visit those languishing in prison (Heb 13:1-3). They moreover show themselves priests by guarding holiness, seen here in terms of keeping the marriage bed undefiled, abstaining from the love of money and remaining steadfast against false teaching (Heb 13:4-9). The next verses make clear the basis for all such action – namely, the truth that the “altar” Christians have is far greater than that of the old covenant, just as Christ’s blood surpasses that of animals (Heb 13:10-12). Since the sacrifice of Jesus is greater and lasting, the church is encouraged to offer through Christ, instead of blood sacrifices, the “sacrifice of praise” and the sacrifices of kindness and generosity to others (Heb 13:15-16). The phrase “the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name” (13:15) is drawn from Hosea and refers to worship, preaching and witness. Priestly service thus extends to every domain of life.
~ Uche Anizor and Hank Voss, Representing Christ. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2016. pp. 52-53.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
The Everlasting Dominion to Come, Daniel 7.1-18
Anizor and Voss, Representing Christ