Our study on Hebrews is almost finished. The last verse ends with "Grace be with you all."
In this study we observed the heart of an author who truly cares for the ones he is addressing. The listeners are urged to keep their faith strong, to not let anything they have heard or been taught slip away and to keep their eyes focused on Jesus. They are told to run with perseverance the race marked out for them and are reminded of the faith of great saints from their history. The warnings and advice are given with intensity, yet much is made of God's provision for them in Jesus and how Jesus has made it possible to go boldly into God's presence without fear to make their requests known to him. In Hebrews we learn of a future that far surpasses this life-- a heavenly city of joyful angels, God's redeemed people made perfect, face- to- face time with our Father God and Jesus Christ, and things that are too awesome to describe with human words.
I am so thankful when the scriptures I focus on have much relevance for the specific day I face. Verses 20 and 21 of chapter 13 were those kind of words for me this week.
"May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen."
I will be equipped with everything good for doing his will. So, for instance, strength will be there when I feel weak, words will be given when he nudges me to speak of Kingdom things and besides that he'll be working in me what pleases him. While I'm doing his will, equipped with all I need, he keeps his transformation work going inside me. The titles of our Equipper and Remodeler are the God of peace and the Great Shepherd. Do you feel the grace being with you? (Grace be with you all)
An object lesson this week illustrated the importance of the one behind the scenes keeping watch and transforming things to keep them pleasing. I received a call one evening from a retailer online who wanted to know if I had made a purchase for a certain amount of money a few days prior. I did not remember that transaction and it was agreed that someone had stolen my credit card number. The order did not get charged to me and it was canceled. I asked what had raised the red flag to cause them to call me. There were things that had not looked right about the transaction, maybe missing information or that the purchase didn't fit my history and profile. I had to follow through with my card company and get a new card.
I had two reactions to that incident. One, I was pretty sure I knew when the number had been stolen and I felt violated and taken advantage of. Secondly, I sensed a lot of gratitude that I had been notifiied and relieved of any unwarranted expenses. I also realized how good it feels to have someone cover your back like that and to know that the system of protection and maintenance of accounts works.
I praise you, Father, that you always keep me as the apple of your eye and hide me under the shadow of your wing. You work to make things turn out for good, and you delight in transforming me to look more like Jesus. I believe that you have provided me with everything good for doing your will. Help me to use what you've provided and never worry that it won't be enough or use some substitute instead because it's more familiar to me. I am so blessed to be your child and to know your wonderful grace and love to me ALL the TIME! Thank you!