Daily Reading: This morning, we’re reading the very practical Hebrews 13. Start there, then read this devotion focused on verses 7-9.
“Yeah, I’ll have a quadruple grease burger with bacon and cheese.”
“Would you like any sides with that?”
“How about cheesy chili fries. Oh and a root beer in a glass mug.”
“We’ll have that right up for you sir.”
Sorry, that was me fantasizing about falling off the bandwagon on my healthy eating kick. It would be great if they would just make a fast food place with all the fast food options present. You know, a drive in where you can “have it your way” while eating “America’s favorite fries and lovin’ it” and “think outside the bun.” It would be “finger lickin’ good” and they would say, “my pleasure” when you took your order. If they had this, at least when you went for a cheat meal you could do all the damage at one place.
While my all access fast food joint is a grand idea, my real point is this: We want it our way, we want it all, we want it now. I think sometimes we have an attitude towards God that, like our culture, he is constantly flexible, fitting our the whims and wishes of the moment. That our faith should morph and change to match the rhythm of our culture. Now let me clarify, we do have an active relationship with our God through Jesus, and he does meet us in a living way in our moments of need. Yet we also serve a God who is constant. Hebrews 13 says it like this:
7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 9 Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.
– Hebrews 13:7–9
When it says, “remember your leaders” it is speaking of leaders who have gone before and are now with the Lord. In other words, their life of faith IS relevant for you today. Then he gives his reason. Those who lived before have much to teach us because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is the constant. Because Jesus stays the same, we should be wary about “diverse” (or different) and “strange” teaching.
What a blessing to know that we have a constant in Jesus, a legacy of faithful heroes who come before us, and a message that has been the same for two thousand years. We live in a time where the world is changing rapidly around us. And yes, we have to change with it. But we have an anchor. We have a faith that is rooted in the Word of God. We have a rich history in the church. We have a constant savior in Jesus.
As you go through your day, remember that Jesus is just as committed to his people now as he was on the cross. Remember that you have a faith that provides an anchor both in the history of the church, and the unchangeable Jesus. And remember that as you have questions about your faith, you aren’t the first person to ask them. It’s OK to look to the past as we seek to live faithfully in the present and embrace the future.