Monday, February 17, 2014

Hebrews Recap: Week 1

I am out of town this week, due to the marathon as well as a work trip. Therefore, I missed our Bible Study group. I asked my sweet friend Margaret to fill in for me with our Hebrews recap for this week. I'll come back to you at the end of her chat.

Margaret writes:
Our small group discussion this week started out with a homework review and share time. Everyone was especially chatty tonight and had something to share – a good indication that our group is comfortable with each other! We talked a little bit about our own experiences with persecution for our Christian faith, or lack thereof, and realized how UNpersecuted we really are in America.

Our discussion from the homework turned to angels. We listed some of their responsibilities as outlined throughout scripture: they’re messengers for God, give guidance and direction, and they carry out the law of God (basically, when judgment needed to be served, it was often the angels who did it!).
We learned this week that New Testament writers often quoted references from the Old Testament. Psalm 110:1 was a favorite and most commonly cited: “The LORD says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’” I think this was such a favorite quote partly because it gave the listener hope and proof that God is just!

After discussing our lesson for this coming week, Shannon closed us in prayer. While she was praying, I felt the Spirit bring to mind a recent blessing and I knew I needed to share about it. I’m guilty of forgetting to “brag” on God for His goodness when it comes to prayer request times. I told my friends of how we were blessed financially, and unexpectedly, this week. It came right after a time of financial hardship for us, but also, after we gave sacrificially to a friend for a mission trip to Nepal. Our attitude toward money has changed so drastically in the past several years once we realized that it’s all God’s money in the first place! We didn’t give to our friend expecting to be blessed. But we immediately gave God the credit and the praise when we were! I’m glad I stopped to publicly brag on God. It opened the door for several of the other ladies in the room to share too! We heard other stories of God providing financially this week, and of a marriage being healed and restored when hope was lost! What an encouraging way to end our evening together and start a new week, anticipating God’s work in our lives!

Y'all, don't you wish you were a part of this precious group of women? I missed them so much tonight! 

The actual teaching session in Hebrews tonight taught us how crucial it is to not drift backwards! Lisa explains this concept by talking about a riptide and trying to get to shore, against the riptide and all odds. 1 Peter tells us that our enemy is like a lion, attempting to literally kill us. He is not passive--and therefore, we will be dragged down by the riptide of the lion if we don't fight against him. She also brings us to Judges 3 and shares that we are called to active duty! We are called to fight against the enemy. 
Then, the pastor/author goes into a description of Christ and angels. He reminds us that Jesus, for a season, allowed Himself to become lower than the angels in order to redeem all of mankind. This was a voluntary humiliation. Wow! In verse 10, the pastor tells us that Christ voluntarily prepared Himself for the cross by suffering in order to alleviate our suffering eternally. How encouraging is this teaching part!
The end of chapter 2 goes on to tell us that Christ came to earth for US, not for the angels...or to save them or their worth...but to redeem and to aid us! 

Each portion of this book so far has been so encouraging to me (and the rest of our group) to dig into what God is doing in our lives. He cares so much and wants to give to us so much...if only we're watching.

Thanks Margaret for sharing today on the blog!
I'll be back tomorrow with a full marathon weekend recap!

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