Posts filed under 'Courage'
In the book “Guns, Germs and Steel”, author Jared Diamond tells the story of how in the year 1532 the Spanish conquistadores defeated the largest and most advanced state in the New World. The Inca emperor Atahuallpa was the absolute monarch over millions of people, and he was accompanied by an army of 80,000. Francisco Pizarro was in charge of a group of 168 Spanish soldiers, in unfamiliar terrain, ignorant of the local inhabitants, and more than 1000 kilometres from any other Spanish forces. In spite of being vastly outnumbered, the Spaniards captured Atahuallpa and routed the Inca army. How did they manage this when they were outnumbered by 500 to one?
The Revelation to John — Chapter 20
20:1 I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key of the abyss and a huge chain. 20:2 He seized the dragon, the old serpent, the devil and Satan, and chained him up for a thousand years. 20:3 He threw him into the abyss, and closed it, sealing it over him, to prevent him from deceiving the nations any more, until the thousand years were over. After that, he must be freed for a short time. 20:4 I saw thrones, and the people who sat on them had been given authority to judge. I saw the souls of people who had been beheaded for talking about Jesus, for explaining the word of God, and refusing to worship the beast and his idol, and to accept the mark on their forehead or hand. They came back to life, and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 20:5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were over. This is the first resurrection. 20:6 Blessed and holy is anyone who is included in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them. They will be priests of God and Christ, and will reign with him for one thousand years.
20:7 And after the thousand years, Satan will be released from his prison, 20:8 and will go to the four corners of the earth to deceive the nations, Gog and Magog, to assemble them for war. They have as many soldiers as there are grains of sand by the sea. 20:9 They marched across the earth, and surrounded the camp of the believers, and the beloved city. Fire came from heaven and destroyed them. 20:10 The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet were. They will be tortured day and night forevermore.
20:11 I saw a large white throne and the one who sat on it. The earth and heaven ran away from his presence, but there was nowhere for them to go. 20:12 I saw the dead, the important and the unimportant, standing in front of the throne. Scrolls were opened. One scroll which was opened was the book of life. Dead people were judged by what was written in the scrolls, based on what they had done. 20:13 The sea gave up the dead people who were in it. Death and Hades gave up the dead people who were in them. The people were judged by what they had done. 20:14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 20:15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
June 15th, 2007
My friend William Eyika, who now works in the slums in Nairobi, came from near Soroti in north eastern Uganda. His area was subjected to frequent raids from local tribespeople, anti-government rebels, and government troops. When any one of these three parties came into town looting, pillaging and murdering, everyone had to run and hide, and then try to rebuild life from scratch once they were gone. William’s father was the headmaster at the local school. One day he heard the school bell ringing and went to investigate. He was captured by the tribespeople, who killed him and drank his blood…
The Revelation to John — Chapter 17
17:1 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls spoke to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute who sits on many waters. 17:2 The kings of the earth slept with her, and people living on earth became drunk on the wine of her immorality.” 17:3 He carried me away in the Spirit to a wilderness. I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet-colored animal with seven heads and ten horns, covered with words that were insulting to God. 17:4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and decorated with gold and precious stones and pearls. In her hand was a golden cup full of depravity and the impurities of her immorality. 17:5 On her forehead was written, “Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of prostitutes and of the depravities of the Earth.” 17:6 I saw that the woman was drunk on the blood of the believers, and the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. I was astonished when I saw her.
17:7 The angel asked me, “Why are you surprised? I will explain the mystery of the woman, and the beast that carries her, which has seven heads and ten horns. 17:8 The beast that you saw once was alive, but is not now, although it is about to come up out of the abyss to be destroyed. People living on the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life since the beginning of the world will be amazed when they see the beast which was alive, but is not now, but will be again. 17:9 Wisdom is needed to understand this. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits. 17:10 They are seven kings. Five have fallen, one remains, and the other has not yet come. When he comes, he will stay for a little while. 17:11 The beast that was alive, but is not now, is himself an eighth king. His fate is the same as the other seven, and he will be destroyed. 17:12 His ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they will be appointed as kings, along with the beast, for one hour. 17:13 They will agree to give their power and authority to the beast. 17:14 They will fight against the Lamb, and the Lamb will defeat them, because he is Lord of lords, and King of kings, and the people who side with him are called and chosen and faithful.”
17:15 He said, “The waters which you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, crowds, nations, and languages. 17:16 The ten horns which you saw, and the beast, will hate the prostitute, and will decimate her and leave her naked. They will eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. 17:17 God has placed in their hearts the desire to do what he wants, by agreeing to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. 17:18 The woman you saw is the great city, which rules over the kings of the earth.”
June 12th, 2007
There are times in life when everything goes quiet. But often, it’s just the calm before the storm. I can remember a time when I was a very junior employee, and a long-established client of my boss had come in, wanting us to prepare a patent application for his invention. My boss asked me to look after the client, so I interviewed him and did the work and sent it to him for his approval. Then everything went very quiet. Then the client rang my boss’s secretary to find out what the status of the case was. My boss was overseas, and the client’s letter addressed to my boss and marked “private and confidential” was lying neatly on his desk, awaiting his return…
The Revelation to John — Chapter 8
8:1 When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 8:2 I saw the seven angels who stand before God. Seven trumpets were given to them. 8:3 Another angel with a golden censer came and stood near the altar. He was given a substantial amount of incense, to offer with the prayers of all the believers on the golden altar which was before the throne. 8:4 The smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the believers, went up before God from the angel’s hand. 8:5 The angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it on the earth. There followed thunder, noises, lightning, and an earthquake.
8:6 The seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them. 8:7 The first angel blew his trumpet, and hail and fire, mixed with blood, were thrown on the earth. One third of the earth, one third of the trees, and all green grass, were burnt.
8:8 The second angel blew his trumpet, and something resembling a large fiery mountain was thrown into the sea. One third of the sea became blood, 8:9 one third of the living creatures in the sea died, and one third of the ships were destroyed.
8:10 The third angel blew his trumpet, and a huge star fell from the sky, burning like a torch, and it fell on one third of the rivers, and on the springs of water. 8:11 The name of the star is “Wormwood.” One third of the water became bitter like wormwood. Many people died because of the bitterness of the water.
8:12 The fourth angel blew his trumpet, and one third of the sun, one third of the moon, and one third of the stars were struck, darkening one third of them, and there was no light for one third of the day, or for one third of the night. 8:13 I saw and heard a single eagle, flying through the air, shouting, “Woe! Woe! Woe for people who live on the earth, because of the trumpet blasts which the other three angels are about to blow!”
June 3rd, 2007
I’ve never been a big fan of discipline and restrictions. When I was at school I didn’t feel a great urge to join the cadets and march around in uniform doing drills and getting shouted at by officers and continually getting in trouble for not having shiny enough shoes or for not standing in line straight enough or committing any other offence which seems to make them really angry. I have never enjoyed getting punished or told off, and I have never enjoyed having to repent when I have done something wrong. But even I could spot a problem when I met some people who said that they were Christians but wanted to take the concept of freedom much further than Jesus did…
The Letter from Jude
1:1 From Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are called, who are loved by God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ. 1:2 May you overflow with mercy, peace and love.
1:3 Dear friends, I really wanted to write to you about the salvation which we share, but I find it necessary to write to encourage you to fight for the faith which was given once for all to the believers. 1:4 Some people have secretly infiltrated you. Their condemnation was written about long ago, and they are ungodly, turning the grace of our God into a pretext for immorality, and denying our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
1:5 I want to remind you, although you already know this, that after the Lord rescued the people out of the land of Egypt, he destroyed those who did not believe. 1:6 Angels who did not keep within their allocated authority, but deserted the place where they lived, have been kept by him in everlasting chains in darkness, awaiting judgment on the great day. 1:7 Sodom and Gomorrah and the nearby cities indulged in sexual immorality and various perversions, and they have become an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire. 1:8 In the same way, these dreamers also contaminate their own bodies, reject authority, and insult angels. 1:9 Even the archangel Michael, when fighting the devil and arguing about the body of Moses, did not dare to insult him. Instead, he said, “May the Lord rebuke you!”
1:10 But these people insult anything they do not understand, and they are destroyed by the things which they understand instinctively, like unthinking animals. 1:11 Woe to them! They have followed Cain’s example, and have made the same mistake as Balaam by trying to make money, and have been destroyed in their rebellion like Korah. 1:12 These people are hidden rocky reefs when they join you at your communion meals, fearlessly feeding themselves; clouds without rain, carried along by winds; autumn trees which are doubly dead, without fruit and pulled out by the roots; 1:13 wild waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the blackest darkness has been reserved forever.
1:14 Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied about them, “The Lord came with ten thousands of his holy ones, 1:15 to judge everyone, and to punish all ungodly people for all the ungodly things which they have done, and all the insults which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 1:16 These people are grumblers and complainers, following their selfish desires. They boast about themselves, and flatter people to win favours.
1:17 Dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ predicted. 1:18 They told you, “In the last time there will be cynics, living according to their own ungodly desires.” 1:19 These worldly people who do not have the Spirit are the ones who cause disputes. 1:20 Dear friends, keep building yourselves on the foundation of your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit. 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, while waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ and eternal life. 1:22 Show mercy to people whose faith is wavering, 1:23 and save others by snatching them out of the fire. Show mercy to others, but be careful, hating even clothing which has been stained by sin.
1:24 Now, to the one who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before his glorious presence with great joy, 1:25 to the only God our Saviour through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory and majesty, power and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
May 26th, 2007
It doesn’t take much to get caught on a slippery downwards slide. Plenty of lawyers have found this out the hard way. Firstly a problem crops up, and for some reason some money which is due to be paid to a client is delayed. Instead of taking the difficult route and trying to explain it to the client, you know that the client is an unreasonable person and will make your life miserable, so you temporarily borrow some money which belongs to another client, without telling that other client. Unfortunately, something further goes wrong, so you have to borrow money which belongs to a third client, and the spiral starts getting worse…
John’s Second Letter
1:1 From the leader, to the chosen lady and her children. I love you in truth — and so does everyone else who knows the truth — 1:2 because of the truth which lives in us and will be with us forever. 1:3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
1:4 I am delighted to have found some of your children living in the truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father. 1:5 Now, dear lady, I ask that we love each other. This is not a new commandment which I am writing for you, but one which we have had since the beginning. 1:6 Love means that we should live according to his commandments. This is the commandment which you have heard since the beginning, and you should obey it. 1:7 Many liars have emerged in the world, people who do not acknowledge that Jesus Christ came as a human. Such a person is a liar and antichrist. 1:8 Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for. Make sure you receive the full reward. 1:9 Anyone who goes off and does not stay with the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Anyone who stays with the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 1:10 Do not welcome or receive into your house anyone who comes to you and does not bring this teaching. 1:11 Someone who welcomes such a person shares in evil works.
1:12 I have many things to write to you, but I do not want to do so with paper and ink. I hope to visit you, and speak face to face, so that we can be really happy together. 1:13 The children of your chosen sister send you their greetings.
May 24th, 2007
The former Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong has written a book called “Jesus for the Non-Religious”. Mostly, the book is a criticism of the supernatural and miraculous elements of traditional Christianity. The writer considers that traditional beliefs are incompatible with a modern worldview, and the miraculous aspects of the accounts of Jesus need to be stripped away to ascertain what he really stood for. But what do you end up with once all these things have been taken away? You end up with no more than a man who said some good things. If that is all he was, then why would anyone go to church every Sunday to hear about him?
Peter’s Second Letter — Chapter 2
2:1 There were false prophets amongst the people, just as there will be false teachers amongst you, secretly introducing destructive opinions, denying even the Master who bought them, bringing on themselves swift destruction. 2:2 A lot of people will follow their degeneracy, and as a result, the way of the truth will be abused. 2:3 They will greedily exploit you with misleading words. Their condemnation from long ago will wait no longer, and their destruction will sleep no more.
2:4 God did not spare angels when they sinned, sending them down to hell, in pits of darkness, to await judgment. 2:5 God did not spare the ancient world when he brought a flood on the world of the ungodly, but protected eight people including Noah, a preacher of righteousness. 2:6 God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by covering them with ashes, making them an example to people who want to live ungodly lives, 2:7 while saving righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the depravity of barbaric people 2:8 (because that righteous man living amongst them was tormented day after day in his righteous soul by the barbaric acts which he saw and heard).
2:9 So the Lord knows how to save godly people from hardships and to punish unrighteous people until the day of judgment, 2:10 especially people who indulge in the contamination of their sinful cravings and despise authority. Brazen and arrogant, they are not afraid to abuse angels; 2:11 whereas angels, although stronger and more powerful, do not bring abusive condemnation against them before the Lord. 2:12 These people are like unthinking animals, born to be captured and killed, insulting things which they do not understand, and they will be destroyed in the midst of their depravity. 2:13 They will suffer injuries as their reward for injuring others. They take pleasure in overindulging during the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, revelling in their deceptions while they feast with you, 2:14 while their eyes are full of adultery, and they cannot stop sinning, seducing indecisive people. They are well trained in greed, offspring of a curse.
2:15 They have left the straight road and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of wrongdoing, 2:16 but he was reprimanded for his disobedience. A mute donkey spoke with a man’s voice and stopped the madness of the prophet. 2:17 These people are wells without water, clouds driven by a storm. The gloom of darkness has been reserved for them. 2:18 By appealing to sinful human cravings, they speak empty conceited words to trap people who are almost escaping from the wrong type of lifestyle, 2:19 promising them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of corruption, because people become slaves to whatever overpowers them.
2:20 If, after they have escaped the contamination of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again trapped in it and overpowered, they are in a worse position than they were originally. 2:21 It would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment given to them. 2:22 The thing which has happened to them is accurately described in the proverbs, “The dog returns to his own vomit,” and “The pig that has washed returns to wallow in the mud.”
May 17th, 2007
If you’re a follower of Jesus living in Australia or Europe or the US, then chances are that you have never been physically abused or imprisoned for your faith. But unless you’ve spent your whole life living under a rock or shopping only in Christian bookstores and talking only to Christian people, then it’s likely that you’ve encountered some form of verbal harassment. There are plenty of strident voices claiming that only idiots believe in God and that teaching children about Jesus is a form of child abuse. But just remember the many followers of Jesus throughout the world who are abused physically, imprisoned, tortured, and even killed when they refuse to deny their belief in Jesus.
Peter’s First Letter — Chapter 5
5:1 As a fellow leader, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and someone who will share in the glory that will be revealed, let me encourage the leaders amongst you 5:2 to look after the flock of God around you, not because you have to but because you want to, for God’s sake, not to make money, but because you are keen to please God. 5:3 Do not dominate over the people entrusted to you; instead make yourselves examples to the flock. 5:4 When the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
5:5 Younger people, submit to the leaders. All of you should behave with humility towards each other, because “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 5:6 Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that he can lift you up in due course. 5:7 Throw all your worries to him, because he cares for you.
5:8 Be self-controlled. Be watchful. Your enemy, the devil, walks around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 5:9 Resist him and stay firm in your faith, knowing that your fellow believers around the world are facing the same hardships. 5:10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will renew, support, strengthen, and establish you. 5:11 To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
5:12 I have written briefly to you with the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, to encourage you and to confirm that you are standing firmly in the true grace of God. 5:13 Your sister church in Babylon sends her greetings, and so does my son Mark. 5:14 Greet each other with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who belong to Christ.
May 15th, 2007
When you’re a kid and you first start getting pocket money, your friends will expect you to spend it the same way they do. But if you’re an unusual child who prefers to spend your money on something more important, your friends are going to think you’re strange. If you believe that your life has a significance which reaches beyond satisfying your own desires, if you believe that your existence can be more meaningful than merely creating pleasures for yourself, if you treat the money and resources which come within your sphere of influence as opportunities for making investments that will endure when you are gone, then people are going to think you’re strange…
Peter’s First Letter — Chapter 4
4:1 Christ suffered for us in his body, and you should arm yourselves with the same attitude, because someone who has suffered in the body has stopped sinning. 4:2 Do not spend the rest of your time on earth satisfying human cravings; spend it doing the will of God. 4:3 You have already wasted enough time doing what unbelievers do, indulging in immorality, lechery, drunken binges, gluttony, wild parties, and unrestrained idolatry. 4:4 They are surprised that you do not leap into the same wild lifestyle with them, and they abuse you for it, 4:5 but they will have to answer to the one who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
4:6 This is why the Good News was preached even to dead people, so that they could be judged as humans in the body, but live in the spirit as God does. 4:7 The end of everything is approaching. Be level-headed and self-controlled in prayer. 4:8 Most importantly, love each other unfailingly, because love covers many sins. 4:9 Be hospitable to one another without complaining. 4:10 Each of you has received a gift. Use these gifts to serve each other, as good managers of God’s many types of gifts. 4:11 Someone who speaks should be speaking the very words of God. Someone who serves should serve with the strength which God supplies. God should be glorified in everything through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
4:12 Dear friends, do not be surprised about the fiery trial which you are going through, to test you, as if something unexpected was happening to you. 4:13 Celebrate because you are sharing in Christ’s sufferings, and you will be able to celebrate even more when his glory is revealed. 4:14 If you are abused for the sake of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 4:15 None of you should suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evil doer, or a meddler in other people’s business. 4:16 But someone who suffers for being a Christian should not be embarrassed. Instead, praise God for being called by that name. 4:17 The time has come for judgment, beginning with the family of God. If it starts with us, how will it end for people who do not obey the Good News of God? 4:18 “If it is hard for righteous people to be saved, what will happen to ungodly people and sinners?” 4:19 People who suffer according to God’s will should keep doing what is right and trust themselves to the faithful Creator.
May 14th, 2007
Mr Rockstein wasn’t a normal primary school teacher. He was big for his age. He was tall, and he was wide. He had a booming voice, and he seemed to have a short temper. We used to have the old-fashioned sorts of desks where the seat parts were connected to the table parts, and each desk would have seating space and table space for two students. The desks were quite heavy as I recall, but not for Mr Rockstein. When he was mad with someone in his class, he would walk up to the desk, lift it up with the two students helplessly trapped inside, and shake it while shouting in his booming voice. For us students, Mr Rockstein was a vision of pure awe and terror…
Peter’s First Letter — Chapter 3
3:1 Wives, submit to your husbands so that, even if they disbelieve the word, they will be won over by the behaviour of their wives without a word, 3:2 seeing the reverence and purity of your conduct. 3:3 Your beauty should not consist of external things like braided hair and gold jewellery and fine clothing. 3:4 It should be located in your heart, the unchanging beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which God esteems highly. 3:5 This is how in times past holy women who put their hope in God made themselves beautiful, submitting to their husbands. 3:6 Sarah submitted to Abraham, calling him lord. You are her daughters, if you do what is right, without fearing intimidation.
3:7 Husbands, you must also live considerately with your wives, respecting them as the weaker partner, but as joint heirs of the gift of eternal life. Then nothing will stop your prayers.
3:8 Finally, all of you should be united in spirit, understanding, loving, compassionate, humble, 3:9 not repaying evil for evil, or insult for insult, but instead blessing, because you were called to this so that you could inherit a blessing. 3:10 “People who want to love life, and see good days, must keep their tongues from speaking evil, and their lips from speaking lies. 3:11 They must turn away from evil and do what is right. They must look for peace, and pursue it. 3:12 The eyes of the Lord are on righteous people, and his ears are open to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is set against people who do evil.”
3:13 Who can harm you, if you become enthusiasts for doing good? 3:14 Even if you suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear, and stop worrying.” 3:15 Worship the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks you the reason for the hope inside you, with humility and reverence, 3:16 in good conscience, so that, when you are criticised, the people who abuse you for your good behaviour in Christ will be embarrassed. 3:17 If it is God’s will for you to suffer, it is better to suffer for doing what is right than for doing wrong. 3:18 Christ died for sins once, a righteous man on behalf of unrighteous people, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body, but made alive by the Spirit. 3:19 In the Spirit he went and preached to the spirits in prison, 3:20 who were unbelieving in times past, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, while the ship was being built. In it, only eight people were saved through water. 3:21 This is analogous with baptism, which now saves you. It is not just about washing dirt from your body; it is an appeal to God from a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 3:22 who has gone to heaven and is at the right hand side of God, with angels and authorities and powers submitting to him.
May 13th, 2007
Migrants to a country would be able to tell you the disadvantages of being an outsider. Everyone likes to feel that they belong somewhere, that they have family and friends and a community of people who understand them and share the same values. If you’re a bit different, if you don’t speak the same language, if you don’t eat the same food, if you don’t wear the same clothes or engage in the same pastimes, then you mightn’t fit in. People might not publicly or deliberately ostracise you; it might just happen in subtle unintentional ways. Being an outsider can be a very lonely and soul-destroying thing…
The Letter to the Hebrews — Chapter 13
13:1 Continue to show brotherly love. 13:2 Do not forget to be hospitable to strangers. By doing this some people have unknowingly shown hospitality to angels. 13:3 Remember people who are in prison, as if you were in prison with them, and remember people who are being persecuted, as if it was happening to you. 13:4 Marriage should be highly respected by everyone. Do not let the bed be contaminated. God will judge sexually immoral people and adulterers.
13:5 Keep the love of money out of your lifestyle, and be happy with what you have, because he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” 13:6 We can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper. I will not be afraid. What can humans do to me?”
13:7 Remember your leaders, people who explained the word of God to you. Examine the results of their actions, and copy their faith. 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 13:9 Do not be carried away by strange kinds of teachings, because it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by rules about food, which have not benefitted anyone.
13:10 We have an altar from which the priests who serve in the tabernacle have no right to eat. 13:11 The bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside of the camp. 13:12 Jesus also suffered outside of the gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13:13 So we need to go outside the camp to him, sharing his disgrace. 13:14 We have no lasting city on earth, but we look forward to the one which is coming. 13:15 Through Jesus we should continually offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, the output of lips which declare his name. 13:16 But do not forget to do good and share what you have, because such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
13:17 Obey your leaders and defer to them. They watch over you, and one day will be held accountable. Make this a pleasure for them, and not a burden, because that would not help you.
13:18 Pray for us. We are sure that we have a good conscience, and want to live honourably in every respect. 13:19 I particularly ask you to pray that I can return to you soon.
13:20 May the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 13:21 supply you with everything good so that you can do his will. May he work in us as he pleases, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
13:22 Friends, I urge you to pay attention to what I am saying, because this letter which I have written is brief. 13:23 I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been freed. If he gets here in time, I will bring him with me when I come to see you. 13:24 Greet all your leaders and all the believers. The people from Italy send their greetings. 13:25 Grace be with you all.
May 5th, 2007