Monday, January 4, 2010: Hebrews 4
We begin chapter 4 with a warning about what happens when we hear the message but let it fall on deaf ears. Verse 2 tells us that the Hebrews heard the message but did not benefit from it because they were unable to combine it with faith. Do you think that, even now, we know a lot about Christ, but we still do not know him personally? Read 3-11. What is this “rest” promised by God? The Sabbath day was eagerly awaited by the Israelites. Similar to that is the rest for God’s people in heaven. What must we have to celebrate that rest? Read John 14:1-4. What comfort do these verses bring to you? Read 14-16. What is our approach to God?
Tuesday, January 5, 2010: Hebrews 5
Read 1-10. These verses stress Christ’s divine appointment, and his humanity. Psalm 2:7 and 110:4 also show Christ’s divine appointment. What is the significance of Jesus’ full humanity? His sinlessness? How does that relate to you and me? Read verse 12. What does that verse say about our faith? What must we practice in order to go from being an infant to a teacher? Verse 14 tells us that solid food is for whom? In verse 13, what does “anyone not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness” mean? What is your spiritual appetite, milk or solid food?
Wednesday, January 6, 2010: Hebrews 6
Read 1-8. Once again these verses tell us about the peril of falling away. What bothers the author about their prolonged immaturity? In verse 6, is their fate reversible? What does Matthew 10:33 have to say about this? Read Hebrews 13-20. God’s promises were true for Abraham. How does that affect Christians now? Melchizedek, the high priest, entered the inner sanctuary once a year to offer a sacrifice on the Day of Atonement (Hebrews 9:3, 24-26). But Christ is in God’s presence at all times to plead for us. Read verse 12 again, and Philippians 3:14. Why do we press onward?
Thursday, January 7, 2010: Hebrews 7
Read verses 1-10. The writer of Hebrews explains that there is someone greater than Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation. Melchizedek was a priest of the most high God (see Genesis 14:18- 24 and Psalm 110:4). Jesus’ priesthood is like that of Melchizedek in that it is a direct appointment of God, and it is eternal. (Hebrews 1:10, 12). Read 18-28. Jesus has become a liaison between God the Father and us. He is divine, so that he can interpret God to us, and he is human, so that he can represent us to God. What difference does Jesus’ sacrifice make to you in terms of your security with God? Your own self esteem? Your desire to follow Christ? Spend some time in prayer praising God and thanking him for his love and forgiveness.
Friday, January 8, 2010: Hebrews 8
This scripture reading starts by telling us that this is the heavenly sanctuary and Jesus is the eternal high priest. In verse 27 we find that, instead of gifts and sacrifices, Jesus offers himself( Luke 22:20). In verse 6, Jesus’ ministry is referred to as “a more excellent ministry.” Verses 7-9 and 13 tell us of the need for a new covenant. Why? (Jeremiah 31:31-34.) Read verses 1-12 and reflect on the four promises involved in the new covenant. Which part of the new covenant brings you great joy and hope? Why?
Saturday, January 9, 2010: Hebrews 9
Verses 1-5 illustrate the layout of the earthly sanctuary. (Exodus 25-31 and 36-40). What is the significance of each item in the Holy Place? Verses 6-10 describe the ministry of the earthly priests. Why did these repeated ritual sacrifices cleanse a person’s guilt only for a while? Verses 11-28 reveal to us what happened when Christ came. In 14-15, the spirit empowered and guided Jesus to offer his life as a sacrifice to God to take away our sins. (Luke 4:14.) Verses 27-28 remind us that physical death will be a part of this life’s experience, but to fear not because Christ gives us eternal salvation. It also mentions judgment. Do these verses bring you hope or fear? Spend some time in prayer sharing your thoughts with God.
Sunday, January 10, 2010: Psalm 93
In the midst of change and crisis we need a fixed point: our living God! Verse 1 establishes the world in God, verse 2 shows us that God’s kingdom is eternal. In verse 4, God reigns above the floods, and verse 5 tells us that God’s testimonies are true and the holiness of his house lasts forever. Spend some time in prayer, giving God everything in your life that is changing or in crisis, and meditating on this Psalm. Read John 2:21-22 and Hebrews 9:24, and reflect on the ultimate stability in our storms: the risen, reigning Lord.