Hebrews 13:20-21 God will supply believers with all gifts and grace to do His will
In the benediction, the author accorded a fitting cry of praise to God who created all things and restored all things by His power and wisdom. God is able and is willing to supply believers with all grace, gifts and resources so that they may put on Christ’s virtues and accomplish God’s calling.
20 Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord,
God of peace refers to the God who desires to save and impart eternal life to all humanity. Peace carries the connotation of blessedness and abundant living. Here, the author used an ancient name given to God as Jehovah Shalom (Judges 6:24) who would deliver Israel from her enemies.
The author accorded supreme glory to the God of peace who raised Christ the Shepherd of the sheep from the dead. Christ willingly chose death when He stripped Himself of His immortality and took on the fallibility of men being exposed to the temptations of the world. Death was inevitable as Christ became the great High Priest and Shepherd of a race that was condemned. As Christ identified Himself with the death of humanity, God resurrected (brought up) Him together with humanity from death.
When Jesus died on the cross as a covenant sacrifice, He entered into the heavenly sanctuary and there He sprinkled His own blood, prior to resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus occurred by virtue of the establishment of the new covenant through the blood. The blood covenant of Christ is eternal, as it does not need to be repeated as in old covenant atonement sacrifices. Christ’s blood covenant has eternally secured for repentant sinners a position of righteousness as sons of God.
21 equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
The author assured believers that God will equip them (make them complete) with every good thing. Every good thing refers to the gifts and the grace of God, encompassing all resources in heaven and on earth so that the sons of God are sufficiently equipped to do God’s will. In other words, God will do all within His power to fill and support the community, enabling them to accomplish His will. Working in us can be translated as accomplishing in us that which is desirable to God – the regeneration of our hearts and restoration of our identity and authority as sons. It is God’s desire to transform men into the image of Jesus bearing His wisdom, His passion and His authority.
The cry of praise: “to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” becomes a fitting end to the book of Hebrews. It gives praise to the God who restored the world and the race that was lost because of sin. It gives praise to the God who restored humanity by sending His only Son as High Priest in order to establish a new blood covenant of forgiveness. It accords praise to the God who is all powerful, all loving and all wise.
The more we know Him, the more we love Him and praise Him. The more we think about God’s works in our personal, family and world history, the more we will grow to love Him and praise Him. Therefore, our fitting response to every challenging circumstance should rightly be: To God be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Hence, we must not allow our minds to be mired by challenges of the moment but to fix our eyes on His supreme nature – The God who created the universe is the God who loves you. Because God is Creator and Restorer of the universe, He will ultimately have His way in our lives. For He cannot be hindered or wrong footed. Glory be to God forever and ever.
When believers sanctify their conscience, God releases grace to do His will. There is no reason why God would hold back His grace from believers who desire to do His will. God desires to impart His power so that all can perform miracles. He desires to entrust believers with authority over powers in heaven and hell. He wants believers to know what He is about to do in the world. He wants believers to be endowed with all the gifts of the Spirit. He wants believers to have access to all kinds of resources so that they could do the work of the kingdom without lack.
However, we do see some ministries and minsters fall into financial and human resource difficulties. We know that God is not biased for He has promised to equip you in every good thing to do His will. Some years ago, I was deceived into serving in the ministry for the wrong reasons. I set my eyes on the wrong things: I evangelized not out of love, but out of selfish ambition. I made disciples in order to secure loyal followers, not to free them to fulfill their calling. I healed the sick in order to draw more people to the church, not to lead them to repentance. I preached to entertain, to hold their attention and attendance, not to teach the truth. I plant churches in order to create personal security, not to bring a fresh revival into the body of Christ. I sought resources in order to grow the church as opposed to growing the individual. As I learned to submit myself to God and realigned my conscience to His plans, God provides spiritual gifts, revelations, financial and human resources in small tranches. The ministry started to take on a unique role that God has determined at the back of His master plan for kingdom expansion. Therefore, believers must first and foremost acquire a pure heart by meditating on the word, in prayer and fasting. God will impart grace to those whose hearts are after God’s own heart.
God entrusted Jesus with all authority in the universe and appointed Him as Lord over all creation because He is faithful and obedient in all things. Similarly, God will promote believers who have a good conscience and who are faithful in a very little thing. Jesus taught,
He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous (earthly) wealth, who will entrust the true riches (heavenly authority) to you. Luke 16:10-11
God evaluates the conscience of men by their faithfulness and righteousness over small things. When they are found faithful and righteous, they will be entrusted with greater things. God evaluates men’s conscience through their faithfulness in using earthly wealth. Consequently, God entrusts true riches (heavenly resources and authority) to those who are deserving.
- Do you experience frequent misunderstandings with family, colleagues and friends? Are you accustomed to grumbling against God for being unfair to you? Perhaps, you are in the habit of requiring others (including God) to concur with you before you fully understand them. The reason why we are prone to grumbling against God is because we do not really know Him. Spend time in solitude and connect with God with the purpose of knowing Him and His passion for the world. You will come away wiser having understood the heart of God.
- Do you seek grace and gifts as opposed to God’s own heart? God gives grace to those whose hearts are after God’s own heart. Align your motivations and desires with God’s today and receive His grace in greater measure.
Dear Lord, I praise you that my times are in your hands. You are able to cause all things to work together for my good. I ask you to help align my heart towards yours and fill me with your virtues and grace so that I can accomplish your will. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.