The Highest Charity

I opted to preach from Hebrews 13:4 for my wedding sermon last Friday night.

Let marriage be held in honor among all.

The context at the end of chapter 12 urges the reader to offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, since He is a consuming fire. Presumably the bullet points at the top of chapter 13 spell out what that looks like in all kinds of ways, like esteeming marriage as an honorable estate.

But for this post, my attention turns to the first thing on the writer’s list in Hebrews 13:1 – Let brotherly love continue.

Now I can think of a host of specifics which flesh that out in the everyday covenant commitments among followers of Jesus, but none perhaps more virtuous than that of intercessory prayer.

J. C. Ryle, in a tract entitled A Call to Prayer, comments:

This is the highest charity. He loves me best who loves me in his prayers. This is for our soul’s health. It enlarges our sympathies and expands our hearts. This is for the benefit of the church. The wheels of all machinery for extending the gospel are moved by prayer. They do as much for the Lord’s cause who intercede like Moses on the mount, as they do who fight like Joshua in the thick of the battle. This is to be like Christ. He bears the names of his people, as their High Priest, before the Father. Oh, the privilege of being like Jesus! This is to , be a true helper to ministers. If I must choose a congregation, give me a people that pray.

This morning in our weekly prayer/staff meeting six of us prayed through the Tuesday group on the OGC prayer/directory call list. Am I ever glad we did.

Is it time to dust off your copy of that sheet with all those names and phone numbers? Why not lay a little charity of the highest form tomorrow on the J through Ms?

And then just keep on rolling through the rest of the week and beyond so that love of the brethren might continue in our precious flock.

2 responses

  1. Thanks for the motivation, good sir. There’s nothing as encouraging as hearing how someone has been praying for me in a specific way. Gives me chills.

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