A Cloud of Witnesses – November 14, 2019

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?

Questions:

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?

Remember Them No More – November 10, 2019

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?

Questions:

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?

Vacation – June 22

Text: Hebrews 4 (Read it here)20160622

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)

Sabbath Rest
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.

Questions:

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?