Hebrews 12:1-13 – Why is Being a Christian So Hard?

Read Hebrews 12:1-13

Take a step back in time and think about how your parents disciplined you while growing up. Maybe you were the perfect child and never riled anger or correction from your parents. I was not, and I spent many nights “grounded.” Perhaps you have been a parent yourself and had the distinct pleasure of correcting your own children, “for their own good.”

I was not a good disciplinarian, or rather I didn’t like being one. I loved my children and corrected them as a good parent does. Sometimes I would catch myself saying “No” more than saying “Yes. Seeing the big picture and knowing how those corrections would shape their lives was hard. I was always hopeful I’d done the right thing. Today’s reading affirmed me a bit because I was doing the best I knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness.” Continue reading “Hebrews 12:1-13 – Why is Being a Christian So Hard?”

Hebrews 11:32-12:2 – Persevere to a Bold Faith

Read Hebrews 11:32-12:2

Without God we are weak. In our weakness, God steps in and gives us strength. Do you have faith enough to believe that? We have read a summary of the accounts of how the heroes of faith stepped out, trusted, obeyed, and received the promises of God. Have these examples empowered you to be more faithful?  Are you ready to be bolder in your faith?

You have received the fulfillment of the promise they never saw experienced. These heroes of faith had long awaited something spectacular from God. God had promised something better. The promise of a Messiah. Jesus had not yet come when they left this earth, so their true promise had not yet been revealed to them. How much more privileged are we to know how God’s promise of a Savior came about for us all.

While they waited in anticipation, these heroes of faith took a beating for their faith yet persevered. Would you stand up for Jesus and your belief he is the truth, the way, and the life if you were cornered, back against the wall, with a weapon in your face? I know that is a brutal image to imagine, but it happens around the world still today. Especially today. Yet, we don’t always hear about those events. Persecution is alive and well, sad to say. The descriptions in today’s reading are not unheard of even today. Continue reading “Hebrews 11:32-12:2 – Persevere to a Bold Faith”

Hebrews 11:17-30 – It Was By Faith

Read Hebrews 11:17-30

It was by faith that … [INSERT YOUR NAME HERE] … was able to do mighty things that many thought impossible [INSERT YOUR STORY]. What mighty story can you tell about how God intervened in your life when you stayed faithful?

The stories we read today can really conjure up some intense feelings if you put yourself in the “hero’s” shoes. Did one of the stories make more of an impact upon you than the other? I certainly have many a Sunday School memory both of learning the stories and then teaching them to a new generation of children. For me, the thought of sacrificing my child, as Abraham was about to do, makes my heart race. To imagine your son looking into your eyes asking, “where is the sacrifice?” I often cry when I read this story and am so empowered to be faithful. Continue reading “Hebrews 11:17-30 – It Was By Faith”

Hebrews 11:1-16 – What Does Faith Look Like?

Read Hebrews 11:1-16

Chapter 11 of Hebrews focuses on faith. It is a beautiful Chapter, and we’ll reflect on a portion today. Have you ever been asked, “what is faith?” How do you describe it? While the first few verses are not a complete picture of what faith is or represents, it is what the author wanted the people to hear.

While the NLT version that I link to is my favorite translation in general, I prefer NIV for these first three verses, Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” If we have faith, we have confidence in God to act. We have an understanding and trust in God that people without faith are lacking. Continue reading “Hebrews 11:1-16 – What Does Faith Look Like?”

Hebrews 10:32-39 – Patient Endurance

Read Hebrews 10:32-39

“Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ.” Some of us don’t remember that day because Jesus has always been a part of our lives. Yet others of us have a distinct moment when all the dots connected and we knew we had finally met the one who would change our lives forever. No matter what your “coming to Jesus” experience is, the good news is we are here. Keep focused on the joy and overflowing blessing we have for being Christ followers.

Many are not. Many are still moving around aimlessly in life unsure of their purpose or destiny. Are you like me, desperate to be more of a light in the darkness? Maybe you’re still lost in the darkness, looking toward the light wondering how it is possible that God can love you? Our message for hope comes from John 3:16, (paraphrased) God loves us so much that he sent his Son Jesus to save us all. Are you ready for that salvation?

Continue reading “Hebrews 10:32-39 – Patient Endurance”