Today’s passage contains quite a list of things to remember: love each other, be hospitable, imagine yourself in prison or in pain when you remember prisoners and those being mistreated, honour marriage and be faithful in your own marriages, be happy with what you have and don’t wish for money. Everything on the list is a hard thing to do, but the first thing is the most important and the hardest of all. But, If we keep on trying to be loving to each other then the other things begin to be more achievable. There are other places in the Bible where love is singled out as the most important thing. John 13:34 in the NLT reads: “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 in the NLT reads: “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” Jesus went further even than this in his famous sermon on the mount when he spoke about loving even our enemies (see Matthew 5:43-48).
Hebrews 13:1-6 NLT
Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realising it! Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies. Give honour to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery. Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”
There are so many ways to fail to live as a good Christian and also a never ending supply of non-believers keen to point these failings out to us and label us hypocrites. But as I was suggesting above, if we root all of our behaviour in love, we will drastically improve our chances of success in the other areas of Christian life. Also, the more we open our hearts to all that God has given us, the more satisfied we will be become with the abundance of blessings we begin to see. Then it becomes true that we can say with real confidence that The Lord is our helper, we can truly live without fear of what those who would attack us might do to us or say about us. My goal is to be satisfied with what The Lord has given me, know that he really is my help and live with no more fear safe in the knowledge that the love of God is the most powerful force of all.
Ezekiel 33:1-34:31, Hebrews 13:1-25, Psalms 115:1-18, Proverbs 27:21-22