Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.
32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated—38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. (Hebrews 11.1-2, 32-40 , NIV)
“The whole chapter is good, but 32-35 reminds me that my faith in him can overcome anything.”
When you read the list of things these individuals did by faith, what is your reaction? How do these things compare to the things you do in your own life?
Do you think faith alone would be enough for you to accomplish some of these things listed? Why or why not?
How does knowing God had something in store for them that only came together with us increase your faith?
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1 , NIV)
For many of us, we trust only that which we know with certainty. That’s what makes faith faith – it is being confident in God even though we cannot see him.
Finish this sentence: “I have faith that _______.” What sort of things did you use to fill in the blank? Why do you think you used these things?
If you could see God and all the things he is doing, do you think it would increase or decrease your faith? Why do you think this to be the case?
In what ways has God’s faith proven to be certain in your life?
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. (Hebrews 12:14–15, NIV)
“Speaks of God’s will and guides for holy living.”
How hard is it to live at peace with everyone? How hard do you try to live at peace with everyone?
Why is holiness an important characteristic to see the Lord?
How do people fall short of the grace of God?
So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6, NIV)
In what ways has the Lord helped you?
What is the relationship between God being a helper and us being without fear?
Even knowing that God is Sovereign, why do we fear those around us? How can we trust God’s help more and fear less?
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. (Hebrews 1.1-4, NIV)
“The reminder that Christ has spoken God’s love to us, through the gift of His son, spoken to us through his son.”
How does watching the life of Jesus help us know better God and his love for us?
How does being an “exact representation” of something help demonstrate the “real” thing?
How important is it for us to recognize that purification for our sins comes from God through his son, Jesus?
“And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection.” (Hebrews 11.32-35, NIV)
The whole chapter is good, but 32-35 reminds me that my faith in him can overcome anything.
When you look at the list of things in the passage above, how many of them seem beyond your ability, even impossible to accomplish? What would you say is the difference between the people listed in the passages above and you?
How does our faith in God allow us to do things we think would otherwise be impossible?
What events have happened in your life that you would you have considered impossible, had it not been for God’s help and your faith in him?
What challenges do you face today that, in view of your faith in God, are really know big deal?
Ezekiel 29.1-30.26; Hebrews 11.32-12.13; Psalm 112.1-10; Proverbs 27.17
Hebrews 11 and 12 are some of the most encouraging chapters in all of Scripture. Who doesn’t like the idea of the great men and women of faith cheering you on so that you run without any hinderance? The truth is that we have some of those same people in our lives today. While we certainly praise God for heroes of the Bible, we also need to praise him for those who encourage us every single day to follow him better. Who would make your “modern day” list of faith heroes?
Why would God return Egypt to its rightful place and restore it to its land? What does this say about God’s purposes for countries beyond the nation of Israel?
In what ways has your faith in God allowed you to do great things for him?
How has good come to you as a result of you lending money or operating your business in a fair manner?
How have friends sharpened you?
Ezekiel 21.1-22.31; Hebrews 10.1-17; Psalm 108.1-13; Proverbs 27.12
“I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.” (Hebrews 10.17, quoting Jeremiah 31.34) How good is this news? For most of us, we are all too aware that while we forgive people, “remembering them no more” is rarely a reality. Take a moment to think what it means that all of the things you have done in the past are forgotten. Forgiveness from God is not in play today, but revisited tomorrow. Why would we NOT seek it?
Have you ever had a time when you tried to cover your sins, but they were so obvious, there was really no way of avoiding them being known? Knowing this, how does our passage from Hebrews mean even that much more to you?
Where would you be if Christ had not come to take away your sin, good for all time?
How do you demonstrate the confidence you have in God?
What dangers and precautions do you think the Proverb writer is referring to in today’s passage?
Text: Hebrews 4 (Read it here)
Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.
(Hebrews 4.1, NIV)
Author: Trent Roberson
“And God rested on the 7th day from all his work.” We are working people. We pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and seldom do we encounter a problem that a little hard work, a few extra hours, a little sacrifice can’t resolve. But, we are tired. We long for rest. We need a break, just a few hours to get caught up. God created us to need rest. We are made in his image and the creation brought him to the point of needing rest.
Did you know that the mattress industry in the United States is not only a 9 billion dollar industry, but one of the fastest growing sectors America. We are people who are in need of rest and we are searching for better rest. We are tired!
Hebrews 4 wrestles with the topic of Sabbath rest, but this rest only makes sense when contrasted to the writers reference to the rebellious and disobedient Israelites who were not going to enter His promise land rest due their actions.
The rest that we are longing for can’t be bought or discovered through a personal rest number. Our Sabbath rest is truly discovered the moment we overcome unbelief and recognize our need for salvation. Mankind is restless outside of Christ. Jesus said, “Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest”.(Matthew 11:28) True Sabbath, real rest, only exists in Christ. The creator made us that way. What we are really chasing came at a great price, but it can’t be bought by us.
So, what’s our response? Pursue Christ. Quit chasing gratification and purpose outside of Christ. Slow down and enjoy God’s blessings.
The author of Hebrews speaks of the importance of finding a rest in the Lord that comes from a faith that acts in obedience. How have you found obedience and rest connected in your life? In what ways has disobedience actually served to create more work for you, rather than avoid it?
The allusion here is to the people of Israel entering into the Promised Land, or at least, the offer of the Land until the people’s disobedience disqualified them from entering. How can we understand the importance of following God through obedience and receiving a reward of rest? In what ways does a lifestyle of obedience give us rest today, versus at some point down the road in the future?
How is the word of God connected to entering into his rest? Why do you think the author of Hebrews brings it up in this passage? How can you open yourself fully to the rest that comes only from God, but only comes through obedience to him?