Text: Hebrews 13:8 – ‘Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and for ever’
At first sight, this chapter looks like a collection of assortments. However, it answers one main question: “How can we serve God?” Answer: by loving each other as brothers; by entertaining strangers; by remembering the imprisoned and the ill-treated; by upholding marriage and sexual purity; by keeping free from the love of money and being content with what we have. According to these verses, Christians are expected to be loving, pure, contented, loyal, bold and worshipful.
But if can be difficult to keep on serving God. Some will look back on last year with joy, and a sense of fulfilment, but others with regret, sadness, bitterness. Some will look forward to the coming year with hope and eager anticipation, others with anxiety, fear, uncertainty.
What motives do followers of Christ have to keep on serving God?
Verse 5: God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Verse 6: So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
Verse 8: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
The years come and go; people come and go. But Jesus Christ is the same.
He is unchanging in his…
1. Person: Jn 8:58 “Before Abraham was born, I am.” Rev 1:18 “I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!” Many have sought immortality, but Jesus lives for ever. Look at photographs taken of yourself over the years. How you have changed! But Jesus changes not.
2. Power: Jn 1:1, 12 ‘Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made…To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.’ Yesterday he made the world. Today he governs it. Tomorrow he will judge it.
3. Purposes: Jn 17:24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”
4. Promises: Jn 10:28 “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” Many are the broken promises in this life. But ‘all the promises of God find their “Yes” in him’. He has promised, “I am with you, to the end of the age.”
But do we actually claim these promises in time of need? When Crowfoot, one of the great Indian chiefs, gave permission to the Canadian Pacific Railroad permission to cross the Blackfoot land, he was given in return a lifetime railroad pass. He put it in a leather case and carried it around his neck for the rest of his life. But he never availed himself of the right to travel anywhere on the train.
I recall a story about a man who had to cross a wide river on the ice. He was afraid it might be too thin, so he began to crawl on his hand and knees in great terror. He thought he might fall through at any moment. Just as he neared the opposite shore, all exhausted, another man glided past him nonchalantly sitting on a sled loaded with pig iron. How like some Christians! Headed for Heaven, they tremble at every step lest the divine promises break under their feet.
5. Presence: Mt 28: 20 “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” He is the same yesterday, to our fathers, today, to ourselves, and tomorrow, to our children.
Because he lives I can face tomorrow;
Because he lives all fear is gone;
Because I know he holds the future,
And life is worth the living
Just because he lives.