The act of giving is first and foremost an act of worship.
“ The most crucial theological truth about sexuality is that God loves sex and evil hates it. God made us sexual, and He glories in his plan for our union and joy. Evil hates what God loves, and it has found that more harm can be done through sex then perhaps any other means. Often the chief battleground for the human soul is the terrain of sexuality.” - Dan Allender
People will know who or what we love when they see who and how we love.
This is the conclusion toward which all of Hebrews has been building. Better than Abraham (covenant); Moses (Law); Melchizadek and Aaron (priesthood); Joshua (rest); angels (authority). Now his mountain, his city, his blood, his firstborn, his kingdom are better.
“Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see God; 15 Watch carefully that no one falls short of God’s favor, and that no root of bitterness springs up to trouble you and throw many others off the path. Watch that no one becomes wicked and profane like Esau, the son of Isaac, who for a single meal sold his invaluable birthright.”
“The nearer we are to God, and the more regard He has for us, the more frequent will be our adversities. To be very dear to God, involves no small degree of chastisement.” (Charles Spurgeon)
our commemoration of Passover (Communion) reminds us that God delivered the world from sin and death through the blood of Jesus. His resurrection shows us that He has the power to do what He claimed He can do.
If Jesus was not real, or if he lied or was confused about who he was, then Christianity has nothing to offer that you can’t find in another worldview, a self-help shelf or a bottle. But if Jesus was who he claimed to be, then He matters in ways that nothing else does.
Committed, surrendered endurance is the marker of whether or not we are serious about our faith. Not perfect endurance, but an endurance in which we do not give up moving toward God as we grow into the image of Jesus, even if it’s painfully slow.
So, let us drop every extra weight like all wise runners do when they get ready to run. The Olympians in Greece ran practically naked in an attempt to get rid of anything that would slow them down. Today, Olympic athletes wear the lightest shoes; swimmers wear the slickest body suits; bikers get the most aerodynamic helmets and bikes. They cut down to the smallest percentage of body fat. Every little thing matters.