Monday, July 31, 2017

Hebrews Study Questions from 7/30


HEBREWS STUDY QUESTIONS

My Sunday School Life Group is studying Hebrews. Every Monday, I post questions that were discussed the day before in Sunday School. I invite you to ponder/think about them and jot down your thoughts.

On Wednesdays, I post some of the ideas that came up in the Life Group's discussion for you to consider and compare with your thoughts.  

Make yourself comfortable, this is most likely going to be a year-long experience.

These questions were discussed in my Life Group yesterday. Take time to reflect on them. I'll post thoughts from the class discussion on Wednesday of this week. 

Hebrews 4

Vv 12-13
V12 lists a common use for a sword and an uncommon use. What sword does both?
Comment on v13. Go ahead. We’ll wait until you’re finished . . .


We stopped here this week. 

If you'd like a PDF of the pages of questions in table form with room for you to write answers, email me at  chuckdowning4@gmail.com 


Follow me on Twitter: @CRDowningAuthor and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CRDowningAuthor
My website is: www.crdowning.com


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Friday, July 28, 2017

Expressions of Faith: Hebrews Ch 3. Fix Your Thoughts


Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest whom we confess. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house.
 Hebrews 3:1-2

Fix Your Thoughts

Too many people have their thoughts fixed on insignificant, temporary things.

In January 2016, owners of the San Diego Chargers NFL team announced their decision to move their team to Los Angeles.

This was news to some, a foregone conclusion to many, a slap in the face to others.
However, it was a tragedy to those who’d fixed their eyes on the team and felt betrayed by the action.

As Christians—holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly callingwe are admonished to fix our eyes on Jesus.
     1.   What would that “look like” to you?
     2.   What would your “fixed eyes” see then that you’re missing now?

The only way to answer the above questions is to follow Nike’s clarion call and “Just Do It!’

Fix your eyes on Jesus and see how that changes your view of life as a whole.


Next Expression of Faith: A House of Christ
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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Timeless Truths: I AM Series #4. I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life



Each I AM describes who Jesus is AND who we are to be.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 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. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
John 14:1-14 (NIV)

John 14 presents many challenges for the church as we know it today.
Each statement is made to the disciples.
Verses 1-3
·      Each person is accountable for the amount of light they receive.
·      We have an enormous amount of light in America’s churches.
·      God has the capacity to include all of us.
·      God determines who is on “the Way.”

What It Means For Jesus To Make This I AM Statement
1. Direction. [The Way]
Some are directionally challenged.
We tend to see people as wrong or bad, not lost, like Jesus does.
Jesus wants to go with us on “the Way.”

2. Intimacy. [The Truth]
No one wants to know or live a lie.
Intimacy requires truthfulness and honesty.
Truth is the way we live as much as it is what we know.
There is not a much better way to get to know someone than to travel with them! Traveling with Jesus is the only way to get to know Him.

3. Proof. [The Life]
Thomas voices the question many of us have.
“Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” v5
Jesus demonstrates relational proof where some things don’t continue to require proof over time.
Faith and trust are the proof of who we are.
The real proof is living out our lives as Christians, demonstrating Christ’s love to others—that’s all the proof the world needs.

·      Sometimes the best direction to take is to make a U-turn and go back to where we can find the right way.
·      Christ offers the Way, the Truth, and the Life for all.
·      We are responsible for living our lives to demonstrate Christ to others.
Be on the way, not in the way!

Special thanks to Dr. Scott Peterson, Vice President For University Relations at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University for the central teachings in this series.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Thoughts on Hebrews Study Questions from 7/23


HEBREWS STUDY QUESTIONS

My Sunday School Life Group is studying Hebrews. Every Monday, I post questions that were discussed the day before in Sunday School. I encourage you to ponder/think about them and jot down your thoughts.

On Wednesdays, I post some of the ideas that came up in the Life Group's discussion for you to consider.  

Make yourself comfortable, this is most likely going to be a year-long experience.

These questions were discussed in my Life Group yesterday. Take time to reflect on them. I'll post thoughts from the class discussion on Wednesday of this week. 

Hebrews 

Vv 1-13

What’s the difference in the rest in v4 and v5?
Initially v4 - Law of Duty; v5 - Law of Love
Then we went into an extended discussion. 
We found Psalms 95 and Ezekiel 22:26 insightful.
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
    let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
    and extol him with music and song.
For the Lord is the great God,
    the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
    and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
    and his hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us bow down in worship,
    let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
for he is our God
    and we are the people of his pasture,
    the flock under his care.
Today, if only you would hear his voice,
“Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah,[a]
    as you did that day at Massah[b] in the wilderness,
where your ancestors tested me;
    they tried me, though they had seen what I did.
10 For forty years I was angry with that generation;
    I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray,
    and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
    ‘They shall never enter my rest.’” [NIV]
Your priests have violated my instructions and defiled my holy things. They make no distinction between what is holy and what is not. And they do not teach my people the difference between what is ceremonially clean and unclean. They disregard my Sabbath days so that I am dishonored [profaned in most translations] among them. New Living Translation.

Eternal rest is a spiritual rest in heaven where we will find rest from fighting Satan.
Don't get bound to the idea of Sabbath rest as a lawful act. Rest on the Sabbath from "regular" activities to enjoy God's grace.
Grace is part of both.
The ultimate conclusion was that there is no difference in the Hebrews verses because the "rest" in v5 includes the "rest" in v4.

Why did some people not allowed to go into God’s rest?
Hard hearts. Sin. Disobedience. Rejecting/Not believing God.
After Joshua and Caleb's advice was rejected and Moses told the people about God's anger at their lack of trust, some Hebrews tried to conquer the Promised Land. THEY WERE CRUSHED by the Canaanites.
There are consequences for certain actions. Don't miss the fact that we must do what's right and what we know.

What’s the significance of Today
Today is all we have.
How long is Today
Our life on Earth. The moment we're living in. Here and now. Until Christ comes.
What are you not supposed to do Today? Why?
Ignore what God wants you to do because that leads to a hardened heart.

Read vv8-11. What is the author trying to say here?
These verses do not refer to a past experience only. They also refer to the present--starts TODAY--and the future. 
There is no guarantee of any more than today. It is possible to leave rest once you achieve it by disobedience.
If we don't rest weekly--like God did--we risk not getting to eternal rest.
26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey!Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.
30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”

31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” Numbers 13:26-32
Choosing to enter Canaan is analogous to accepting Christ.
Refusing to enter Canaan is analogous to rejecting Christ.

We stopped here this week. 
V12 lists a common use for a sword and an uncommon use. What sword does both?
Comment on v13. Go ahead. We’ll wait until you’re finished . . . 


If you'd like a PDF of the pages of questions in table form with room for you to write answers, email me at  chuckdowning4@gmail.com 


Follow me on Twitter: @CRDowningAuthor and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CRDowningAuthor
My website is: www.crdowning.com


I'd appreciate your feedback as a comment on Blogger!

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