Monday, January 11, 2010: Hebrews 10:1-18
Verses 12 and 18 clearly tell us that Jesus made the once-and-for-all sacrifice. There is no need for any more sacrifices. This was difficult for the Jewish people to believe. Is it difficult for you to believe? Why or why not? Read Isaiah 53 and reflect. Calvary was the grand fulfillment of God’s eternal plan. What does that mean for you and me? Do we live our lives like we have already been made holy? Praise God for his gift to us through his Son, Jesus.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010: Hebrews 10:19-39
Today’s reading encourages us to approach with boldness into the holy presence of God. Verses 22-25 make us aware of the privileges of new life in Christ. What are the four privileges that are mentioned? How do verses 19-25 parallel Hebrews 4:14 and 16? In verses 26-31, the writer shows his concern about our falling away. Read verse 26, then read 3:14 and 6:4-6. What do we forfeit if we choose to reject Christ in favor of sin? What encouragement is given in 32-39? What encourages you? Why?
Wednesday, January 13, 2010: Hebrews 11:1-16
Read all the verses and pray that God will give you insight and hope. In verse 1, what are the two verbs used to describe faith? Do you, this day, feel confidence and certainty in your faith? Is your faith about the future, the present, or both? Verse 6 tells us that we cannot please God without faith (read James 2:19, 20). Verses 4-16 remind us of some heroes of faith. In verse 7, what aspect of faith did Noah demonstrate? (Read Genesis 6:5-22 and Genesis 7:11-12.) In verses 8-12 and 17-19 we are told about Abraham. What examples of faith were apparent in him? We are told in verses 13-15 that although the people of faith died without receiving all God had promised, they never lost their hope or vision of heaven. Wow! Take time to reflect on these heroes. Do you feel like a hero of faith? What are the verbs that would describe your faith?
Thursday, January 14, 2010: Hebrews 11:17-40
We continue to be introduced to more people of faith in verses 17-31. What do the stories in 17-23 have in common? Each of these men looked into the future with eyes of faith, even in matters regarding their children’s lives. How are you at giving the lives most precious to you over to God? Pray for God’s help in this area. Verses 24-28 tell us of Moses’ faith (read Exodus 16.) Verses 29-40 summarize some of the great achievements that were accomplished as a result of faith. What were they? Verses 39-40 tell us what came of such faith. Chapter 11 describes how lives were changed by faith in God. Has your life been changed because of your faith? Take a few minutes to lift your faith journey up to the Lord in prayer.
Friday, January 15, 2010: Hebrews 12
As you reflect on Hebrews 12, pray for insight and wisdom. Verse 1 tells us that we are not alone. All of the heroes of faith in chapter 11 have gone before us; we are not the first to struggle. Verse 2 tells us to keep our eyes on Jesus. Is this sometimes difficult for you to do? Verses 5-11 speak of a loving God disciplining his children. What do they say about how we should respond to God’s discipline? What does verse 12 tell us to do? What do you think verse 13 is telling us? Does your example make it easier for others to follow Christ and believe? Read Psalm 139:23-24. Verses 14-28 have more instructions for us. We are reminded, again, about refusing God. Read Psalm 24:3-6. What does it reveal about who may climb the mountain of the Lord and enter? Verses 18-24 draw a contrast between Mount Sinai and Mount Zion (Revelation 21). Where does your faith reside now: Mount Sinai or Mount Zion?
Saturday, January 16, 2010: Hebrews 13
This entire chapter describes holy and obedient lives. Verses 1-6 list five personal qualities that characterize Christians. What happens if we choose to neglect or disregard these qualities? Which quality is the most difficult for you? How do verses 7 and 17 tell us to regard our leaders? Verses 18-19 ask for prayers for the leaders. Should we as individuals, and as a congregation, be praying for our leaders? Which ones? When? What is the most significant thing you have learned from studying Hebrews? How has it affected your life? This is a good time to join the list of heroes of faith.
Sunday, January 17, 2010: Psalm 128
This psalm begins with “blessed is everyone who fears the Lord … who walks in his ways.” All of our lives, and the people in them, are affected by this statement. What joy and well-being there is for the person, for the marriage, for the children of those who revere and trust the Lord. Spend some time praying for that reverence