God Gives What He Demands

As the Letter to the Hebrews comes to a conclusion, the author lists behavior that should be evident in a child of God’s life.

While studying Old Testament theology in seminary, I learned a valuable truth about the God we serve. God always gives what he demands from his children.

The Ten Commandments are a good example of this principle. God “demands” the Hebrew nation to observe the Commandments that will nourish a relationship with God and other humans.

Before God’s “demand” of the Commandments, he reminds his people of his “gift” to the nation.

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Exodus 20.2).

The majority of the message of Hebrews is focused on the “gift” side of this principle.

— God has provided humans the Great High Priest who is seated at the right hand of Majesty, making intercession.

— Jesus entered heaven as the High Priest, not with the blood of animals, but with his blood that was shed on the cross.

— The veil that separates God from humans has been torn in two, and we are able to have a personal relationship with God.

With those gifts in mind, Hebrews “demands” that we “let mutual affection continue” (Hebrews 13.1).

The last six of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20.12-17) are given so humans will love each other with mutual affection.

A personal relationship with a gracious and loving God is a gift that will allow us to love each other and avoid breaking the commandments.

Share the Love

I often say that no one wrote a rule book for God. The Book of Deuteronomy describes the “gift” of his love and the “demand” to imitate it.

Let’s meditate on these words.

For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe,

Who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing.

You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt (Deuteronomy 10.17-19).

Like the Parable Jesus told in Matthew 25.31-46, Hebrews reminds us that access to God should cause us to imitate his loving behavior toward those in need.

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.

Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them, those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured (Hebrews 13.2-3).

Proximity to God will make us empathic and loving like the One we know.

In today’s YouTube video, Rudy Ross and I give examples of hospitality that inspire and humble us.

The Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) “demand” that humans maintain love for the one whom God has “given” us as our companion, friend, and lover. Likewise, Hebrews states the “demand.”

Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterers (Hebrews 13.4).

The Gift and Responsibility of Money

In today’s YouTube video, Rudy Ross comments on how we should be content with being sustained by money.

God, not money, is the One who will take care of our needs. The people who first read Hebrews knew poverty, persecution, and lack.

Still, they knew God was their provider.

Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he himself has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

So we can say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?” (Hebrews 13.5-6)

As we face the challenge of these “demands,” let’s remember that God has “given” us everything we need to follow his will.

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I talk about Hebrews on YouTube. You can see the video on the Bob Spradling channel.

Please email your prayer request to bsprad49@gmail.com. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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