“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. ” — Hebrews 6:10, 12
Wreath Directions: Light all three purple candles.
Read Aloud: Hebrews 6:9-12; 13:7; 1 Timothy 5:1-2
Suggested Carol: Some Children See Him
Scripture repeatedly ties together hope and godly conduct. As we studied last time, Peter urged his readers on to godly conduct in light of the fact that Christ will one day return. We want to be ready for His coming. Here, the author of Hebrews lauds his readers for their love and work among the saints. Why are they working so effectively in the church? Because of hope.
The author encouraged all other believers to live and work with the same diligence as those he lauded earlier. Those godly believers work with diligence so as to realize, or comprehend, the full assurance of hope. They get it. They understand that Jesus has already come to give them life and He will come again to take them home. And they live with the hope and realization of a better life in Christ during the here and now.
Peter’s application is clear: imitate men and women of faith. They have learned to live with the hope of Christ and that experience has guided their lives. Be like them. Because of Jesus Christ, we have the ability to live our lives to the benefit of future generations.
Paul teaches his disciple Titus the value of passing on godly behavior to the next generations. In Titus 2, he writes,
“Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self- controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live… to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure… Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good.”
One day in the future, someone will ask about us — what kind of a person we were, what our hobbies were, what our faith was like. What will they learn about you? What do you want them to know? Let the hope of Christ guide you today so that future generations may learn from your godly walk. Be conscious of the legacy you are leaving and pass on what you know of Jesus and what it is like to follow Him.
This week’s prayer is:
“Our Father in heaven, we light this candle to thank You for the hope of salvation that we have in Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. We thank You for His atoning blood, shed on the cross for our sins, and that through His resurrection we might have life in His name. We thank You for the hope found in His first coming and we grab hold of the hope of His return. It is in His holy name we pray. Amen.”