Donna Gaines closes out the book of Hebrews as we conclude our Bellevue Women study, "Fresh Brewed Faith: A Study in Hebrews."
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Week 9 - Homeward Bound
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
Acceptable Sacrifices - Love That Works
1. Love of the brethren – (v. 1)
This epistle has taught us how to love the Lord and experience His Presence. As we love Him with all of our being, we will then love others.
2. Love of hospitality – (v. 2)
Open our homes and lives to others.
3. Love and compassion for those who are bound and persecuted – (v. 3)
When one part of the body hurts, we all hurt. Enter into their pain. “Bear one another’s burdens and thereby fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). The tragedy in Sutherland Springs is a call to enter in and “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).
4. Love honors marriage – (v. 4)
Do everything we can to honor the covenant made before God.
5. Love is content – (v. 5-6)
How can you tell if you control your money or if it controls you? The best test is how easy it is for you to give it away.
6. Imitate faithful leaders who imitate Christ – (v. 7-8)
“This is the meaning of our writer (verse 7). The verb is in the past tense: ‘Remember them, which had the rule over you, such as spoke unto you the word of God: the end of whose life considering, imitate their faith.’ Evidently they had been lately called to witness the end of the life and ministry of some who had been very precious to them. And, as their hearts were sorrowing, their attention was turned from the changing guide and leader to the ever-living, unchanging Lord, Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (The Works of F. B. Meyer, Vol 1, Loc. 15570).
Learn and pass on what we learn. We must faithfully pass our faith to the next generation. Ken Ham in his book, Already Gone, points out the importance of training our children to know and live out the Word of God. According to George Barna and Ken Ham, 60% of students will leave the church in college. But through surveys and studies initiated by Ken's ministry, Answers in Genesis, researchers found that students were not leaving in college, instead they were entertaining doubts as early as the 4th grade. In fact, they found that "about 40% are leaving the Church during elementary and middle school years" because they are mentally and spiritually checking out.
How do we prevent our children from leaving the church? Teaching that the Word of God is absolutely true is the foundation for helping them understand scripture and apply it to their lives. We need our best teachers in our children's and youth classes, teaching our students to know the Word of God and to be able to defend their faith.
Biblical education is the primary responsibility of the parents in the home. Deut. 6:6-9 (NLT) "6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
Parents that is why we are encourage you to be involved in Women’s Ministry, Men’s Ministry, and discipleship groups. Your personal growth in Bible study and prayer is imperative for impacting your own family. When your children see that you love and obey the Word of God, they likewise will learn to love and obey the Word of God. You are their primary teachers. The church needs to come alongside you and reinforce what is being taught in the home.
6. Established by grace – (v. 9-10)
There is one thing that will not bring about the established heart – ritualistic religion.
“Our altar is the cross. Out sacrifice is the dying Savior. Our food is to eat his flesh. ‘This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.’ ‘The bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world’” (The Works of f. B. Meyer, Vol. 1, Loc. 15689)
Thus, it is no longer us who lives, but Christ living in and through us (Galatians 2:20) aligns our will with the will of the Father.
7. Love takes us outside the camp – (v. 11-14)
The sin offering was burned outside the camp – Leviticus 4:21
“Unless you make it your daily business to see that there is a difference between you and the world, you will do more hurt than good.” (Spurgeon - Twitter)
“There are two places appointed for the believer in the power of Christ’s redemption – within the veil, to worship; without the gate, to witness” (Andrew Murray, The Holiest of All, p. 531).
8. God-pleasers – (v. 15-19)
“offer up, give thanks, do good, share, obey, submit, pray”
9. Closing prayer – (v. 20-21)
“The burden of the prayer is that these Hebrew Christians may be made perfect to do God’s will. The word ‘perfect’ means to set in joint, or articulate. Naturally we are out of joint, or, at the best, work stiffly; but the ideal of Christian living is to be so perfectly ‘set’ that God’s purposes may be easily and completely realized in us” (The Works of F. B. Meyer, Vol. 1, Loc. 15762).
10. Closing words – (v. 22-25)
May our names be forgotten that the Name of Christ – the better Name – be exalted, honored and glorified!