Worship That Pleases God
1Continue loving each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. 2Always remember to help people by welcoming them into your home. Some people have done that and have helped angels without knowing it. 3Don’t forget those who are in prison. Remember them as though you were in prison with them. And don’t forget those who are suffering. Remember them as though you were suffering with them.
4Marriage should be honored by everyone. And every marriage should be kept pure between husband and wife. God will judge guilty those who commit sexual sins and adultery. 5Keep your lives free from the love of money. And be satisfied with what you have. God has said,
“I will never leave you;
I will never run away from you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
6So we can feel sure and say,
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid.
People can do nothing to me.” Psalm 118:6
7Remember your leaders. They taught God’s message to you. Remember how they lived and died, and copy their faith. 8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9Don’t let all kinds of strange teachings lead you into the wrong way. Depend only on God’s grace for spiritual strength, not on rules about foods. Obeying those rules doesn’t help anyone.
10We have a sacrifice.#13:10 sacrifice Literally, “altar.” Here, it means the sacrifice (offering) of Jesus. He gave his life to pay for people’s sins. And those priests who serve in the Holy Tent cannot eat from the sacrifice we have. 11The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place#13:11 Most Holy Place Literally, “the holies,” the place in the Jewish Tabernacle or Temple where God met the high priest. and offers that blood for sins. But the bodies of those animals are burned outside the camp. 12So Jesus also suffered outside the city. He died to make his people holy with his own blood. 13So we should go to Jesus outside the camp and accept the same shame that he had. 14Here on earth we don’t have a city that lasts forever. But we are waiting for the city that we will have in the future. 15So through Jesus we should never stop offering our sacrifice to God. That sacrifice is our praise, coming from lips that speak his name. 16And don’t forget to do good and to share what you have with others, because sacrifices like these are very pleasing to God.
17Obey your leaders. Be willing to do what they say. They are responsible for your spiritual welfare, so they are always watching to protect you. Obey them so that their work will give them joy, not grief. It won’t help you to make it hard for them.
18Continue praying for us. We feel right about what we do, because we always try to do what is best. 19And I beg you to pray that God will send me back to you soon. I want this more than anything else.
20-21I pray that the God of peace will give you every good thing you need so that you can do what he wants. God is the one who raised from death our Lord Jesus, the Great Shepherd of his sheep. He raised him because Jesus sacrificed his blood to begin the new agreement that never ends. I pray that God will work through Jesus Christ to do the things in us that please him. To him be glory forever. Amen.
22My brothers and sisters, I beg you to listen patiently to what I have said. I wrote this letter to strengthen you. And it is not very long. 23I want you to know that our brother Timothy is out of prison. If he comes to me soon, we will both come to see you.
24Give my greetings to all your leaders and to all God’s people. All those from Italy send you their greetings.
25God’s grace be with you all.