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Daily Devotional | A Better Way: The Book of Hebrews | A cross with the sun rising in the background. Daily Devotional | A Better Way: The Book of Hebrews | A cross with the sun rising in the background.

Daily Devotional | A Better Word

In today’s world, some say that Christians and non-Christians are in a “culture war.” How should we live in a society that views us with suspicion and hostility? Hebrews 12:14 outlines a strategy. Christians must live carefully, making “every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy.” The secret to such a lifestyle is the grace of God. The author of Hebrews sees living Christianly as both evidence and an outgrowth of God’s grace in the believer’s life (vv. 15–17).

Verses 18–24 continue to make the case for the preeminence of Christ by contrasting the experience of those who first received the Law with those who come to God by faith in Christ. In verses 18–19, the author reiterates and expands a contrast drawn in Hebrews 2:2–4 to highlight the difference. Sinai, where the Law was given, was a place of fire, darkness, gloom, and storm. Even more terrifying than the sight of fire and sounds of trumpet and thunder were the words that God spoke. The people “could not bear what was commanded” (v. 20). The sight was so terrifying that even Moses said, “I am trembling with fear” (v. 21).

Mount Zion is another name for Jerusalem in the Old Testament. It was the place where God showed His presence and Israel worshiped. But verses 22–24 describe it as a spiritual location and a new relationship. It is “the city of the living God,” “the heavenly Jerusalem,” and “the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.” Those who come to Mount Zion through faith, also come to God, “to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,” and “to Jesus.” He is “the mediator of a new covenant” that “speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”

Go Deeper

As Christians, how do we live among non-Christians who judge us or view us with suspicion or scorn? What advice do we find in today’s reading?

Pray with Us: Lord, show us how to speak Your Word, “a better word than the blood of Abel,” to non-Christians in our lives. Take away fear and help us to speak about You boldly, even in the face of opposition.

BY Dr. John Koessler

John Koessler is Professor Emeritus of Applied Theology and Church Ministries at Moody Bible Institute. John authors the “Practical Theology” column for Today in the Word of which he is also a contributing writer and theological editor. An award-winning author, John’s newest title is When God is Silent: Let the Bible Teach You to Pray (Kirkdale). Prior to joining the Moody faculty, he served as a pastor of Valley Chapel in Green Valley, Illinois, for nine years. He and his wife, Jane, now enjoy living in a lakeside town in Michigan.

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