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28/05/15 Britni , Hebrews # , , , , , ,

What to do when you start to lose your grip…

What to do when you start to lose your grip…

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 12:1-13

Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

Take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.

Keep going, sisters.

The author of Hebrews is urging us to persevere, and to view our heartaches and our insurmountable obstacles through the lens of Christ.

We are reminded that Christ suffered the cross, and pressed on to the joy that awaited him on the other side.

We are reminded that at times, our hardships are actually the discipline we receive from our Father, to prune and shape us, as his children.

We are reminded that it is Christ who initiates and perfects our faith, we need only to willingly obey.

And we are reminded of the beautiful, sacred reward that awaits us when we press on: joining in His holiness and reaping a peaceful harvest of right living.

Don’t give up, sweet sisters. You are not alone.

 

 

 

Post by: Britni

 

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27/05/15 Hebrews , Hilary # , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Meaning of Faith & the Heroes of Faith

Meaning of Faith & the Heroes of Faith

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 11

I don’t know about you, but a good testimony just stirs my soul and lifts my faith for the amazing things that are possible with God. I think these testimonies of faith we read about in Hebrews of the old pillars and heroes help us boost our faith. Verse 11:39 is my favorite ending though – “ yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something BETTER so they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.” These models of faith only received limited fulfillment. Jews are now to join Christians in a blessing of a new covenant offered in faith in Jesus.

We have an advantage. The things God has provided for us are so much beyond what has already been done, so that we will see and do more crazy things than was ever seen. Jesus even said, in John 14:12, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even GREATER things than these, because I am going to the Father.” So should our obedience of faith, patience of hope, and labour of love, be GREATER. God will perform all he has promised to us in Christ. That means healing (physical, spiritual, emotional!), casting out demons, redemption, restoration, reconciliation, miracles, new life, resurrection, joy, love, and the list goes on and on…the kingdom is both here NOW and will be to come, in Christ’s final return in the end.

So we can still put our faith and hope in the assurance of what is hoped for and a conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Let us then pray continually for the increase of our faith, that we may follow these bright examples, and to have an even deeper faith, holiness and service than ever seen before!

 

Post by: Hilary

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26/05/15 Becky , Hebrews # , , , , ,

I’m a Survivor. I’m not gon’ give up!

I’m a Survivor. I’m not gon’ give up!

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 10:19-39

Will the Destiny’s Child fans please stand up? Reading today’s passage makes me think of the song, “Survivor”. What an encouraging passage that reads like an anthem, Hebrews 10:19-39, my favorite parts below:

We are free to approach God without fear.

We can come near to Him with a sincere heart and sure faith.

We’ve been freed from guilt.

Our bodies have been washed pure.

We can hold the hope with a firm grip.

We have survived past struggles and can continue strong.

Do not lose courage! Hold on!

We are people who have faith and are saved!

Can you hear the catchy beats behind those words? I can! As we near the end of Hebrews, take courage! We have an awesome God on our side. Let us persevere towards the ultimate goal. And if we do it while dancing, then all the better. 😉


Post by Becky

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25/05/15 Hebrews , Hilary # , , , , , , , , , , ,

Christ was the ultimate sacrifice FOR ALL

Christ was the ultimate sacrifice FOR ALL

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 10:1-18

Hopefully you have been reading along in the Scriptures with us as we study Hebrews together. At this point you are probably thinking, gosh Hebrews sure repeats itself a lot..

Studies have shown that for long term memory or for use in advertising to cause an action, repetition is the best key to really remember something (like someone’s name who you just met) or to be convinced to move towards an action (like to buy a product). We have to hear it at least 3-7 times before it actually sticks and we have it tucked away into our long term memory. I have a feeling that Hebrew’ author was a pretty great preacher, as he is repetitively  reminding us about Christ’s sacrifice.

But, we have to remember he is talking to a bunch of Jews who are thinking about returning back to the old laws of Judaism because they were being persecuted. (Read more here) They needed the reminder because it is SO crucial to understand–it is the centrality of our faith and maybe they just needed to hear it from all angles.

The writer is saying, “don’t you get it?!” God does not desire animal sacrifices anymore – Christ was the ultimate sacrifice FOR ALL. The first covenant is abolished! Stop turning back to your old ways!

That covenant is abolished because Jesus came to do the will of God through his atoning death offering His body ONCE AND FOR ALL. All of our sins – no matter how small or large – are wiped away by the forgiveness of Jesus, because of what he did on the cross. He is our way to enter into a relationship with God again, to commune with the perfect and holy God, because his sacrifice made us clean. We can enter into a real relationship with God and we no longer have to sacrifice an animal for sins. Because he wrote the law on our heart, we now understand when we need to use the precious gift of repentance and we can commune with God and be forgiven of sins.

So do you get it, Sisters? Christ is enough. He is the ultimate, final sacrifice FOR ALL. For YOU!


Post by: Hilary

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24/05/15 Amanda , Hebrews # , , , , , ,

Christ Sacrifice Takes Away Sin

Christ Sacrifice Takes Away Sin

Hebrews 9: 23-28

Before visiting Rome, Italy I had researched all the “must sees”.

The anticipation compounded as I looked through pictures of the Sistine chapel and the Trevi fountain.

The pictures, while they were beautiful, were nothing in comparison to standing in awe of the actual artwork, however. I remember just standing there, as though time stood still, admiring the beautiful, majestic display before me. I’ve tried looking back at pictures, but nothing compares or can bring back that  feeling.

Today’s reading is comparing the “earthly” attempt at sacrifice with the true sacrifice.

While our ancestors attempted to make copies, patterned after Heavenly realities, they could never fully atone.The copies were created to allow God’s people to atone for their sins, yet the blood was merely a representation of the one, true sacrifice to come.

A beautiful, majestic display of our God’s love and justice.

Sprinkled blood of a spotless lamb serving as a mere prophecy of the Lamb to come.

A Sacrifice, once and for all, to atone.

While present day we can continue to sacrifice our lives in a way that is pleasing to God, the sweet aroma drifting up to our Heavenly Father (2 Corinthians 2:15); that sacrifice is merely a reflection of the true sacrifice of our Savior. Our deeds, much like the Old Testament rituals alone, could not offer salvation. God’s justice required an ultimate sacrifice, that could only be attained through Jesus Christ.

Isn’t that a relief, sister?

I strive to live a life that is bowed down to my Heavenly Father. I try to make my life a fragrant offering, through dependence on Him- one that catches the eyes of of non-believers and points to my Savior. However, I know I fail. I see my failings. I know that my works could never be blameless enough to stand in the presence of a Holy God. I would be shunned away….

Yet, Jesus’s sacrifice made a way.

Jesus’s perfect sacrifice allowed a wretched sinner like me a way to spend eternity with my Abba.

Praise Him!

He alone can save!

Post by: Amanda

 

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