November 08, 2021 | Devotionals by Linda Opp
One summer afternoon I stepped out the front door to go to the mailbox, and there stood my neighbor's three hens, escaped from their back yard.
The trio clucked at me softly, as if to say, “We need help. We got out, but we don't know how to get back in.” They must have been discussing their predicament for some time because they seemed to regard my appearance as their rescue. They looked at me expectantly, giving me their full trust.
“Okay ladies, let’s go,” I said. I proceeded next door, the chickens following, to let the neighbors know their hens were loose, but nobody was home. So I led them to the side gate, unlatched it, and in they marched without a backward glance or a thank-you cluck, their mission accomplished.
I recently finished studying the book of Hebrews. The author spends twelve chapters proving that Jesus' death and resurrection is God's final word to us and that we can trust him completely for salvation. Some commentators think the Hebrew recipients of the letter were Jewish priests who had become Christians, or a group of Jewish Christians who were considering whether or not to join a sect that was continuing the Old Testament sin offerings. The writer of Hebrews tells them that Jesus is the mediator of God's eternal covenant. His sacrifice is sufficient for all time and eternity.
What are we to do with this incredible truth? As with all New Testament letters, instructions follow theology. After urging his readers to give God acceptable worship at the end of chapter twelve, the author drops a long list in chapter thirteen about how to do this – Love each other. Be hospitable to strangers. Remember believers in prison. Honor marriage. Don't love money. Respect your leaders. Don't get sucked in by heresy. Offer the sacrifice of praise. Do good and share with others.
Christians are good at going in circles trying to figure out God's will, as though it's hidden from us. But God's will is right here, in chapter thirteen. It's largely a restatement of the Ten Commandments, which have always been God's will. It isn't hidden. It's not hard to understand. The issue isn't finding it; the issue is living it out, day by day, moment by moment.
I've always believed that chickens aren't very intelligent. And they may not be, but that day outside my front door they sure knew how to follow their rescuer. No arguments, no fluttering around, no squawking. They just followed. That's how we need to follow our rescuer, the Lord of heaven and earth.
“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 for ever and ever” (Hebrews 13:20-21)