Posts Tagged ‘Hebrews’

Patient Endurance

January 9, 2014

Christians sometimes must patiently endure.  Life is not always easy.

I.  Patient Endurance: Hebrews 6:9-15

But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. 10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

God has not forgotten us.  He is aware of the faithful service that we have rendered to Him.  We need to diligently continue in hope, faith and patience.  If the fulfillment of God’s promises in our lives are delayed, we must not lose hope.  God is faithful.  We should be like Abraham and patiently endure, knowing that what God has promised, He is faithful to deliver.

II.  Do Not Cast Away:  Hebrews 10:35-39

Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:

37 “For yet a little while,
And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.
38 Now the just shall live by faith;
But if anyone draws back,
My soul has no pleasure in him.”

39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

The Christian journey is difficult at times.  God allows tests and trials to come our way to try our faith.  Mature Christians are not exempt.  If anything, their tests are more severe, as they should be, since their faith has had an opportunity to develop.  We must not give up.  We walk by faith, not by sight.  We patiently endure the times of testing and trial, knowing that they have an end.  God’s love and mercy, on the other hand, will never end.

III.  Run With Endurance: Hebrews 12:1-3

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.

The first thing that we should do to make our ‘race’ easier is to lay aside the sinful practices that will trip us up.  As we become aware of sin in our live, we should repent and ask God to help us change.

Secondly, we can lay aside the weights that slow us down.  There are things in our lives that do not need to be there.  We must ask for wisdom from above to know what things should remain in our lives, and what things should be set aside.

Most importantly, we should look to Jesus as our example.  He patiently endured the cross, knowing that it was God’s plan for Him and for the world.  We too, should endure hardship, as good soldiers of Christ.

If your life is going through a difficult time of testing and trial, do not lose hope.  Do not be discouraged.  God is still with you.  God has not abandoned you.  Patiently endure the times of testing, knowing that God is still with you.  He loves you and will give you the wisdom and strength that you need to face the challenges that come your way.

These are the sermon notes from 1/5/14.  You are welcome to ask questions or post comments.

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A Life of Faith

September 6, 2012

Here are the sermon notes from Sunday, September 2, 012.

I.  We Must Have Faith:  Hebrews 11:5&6

By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; [a] for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

The first step is to have faith in the existence of God.  We must believe that He exists, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  Furthermore, we must have faith in Jesus Christ, the one and only savior of the world.

Faith in Jesus is the starting point of a new life.  Enoch is an example for us that we have not grown as close to God as is possible.  May we learn what it means to “walk with God”.

II.  We Must Obey:  Hebrews 11:8-10

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Abraham obeyed God.  We too, must be willing to obey God as He speaks to us through the Word, and by His Spirit.  We too, should realize that there is a land promised to us as well, but it is a land not of this world.

III.  We Must Realize:  Hebrews 11:13-16

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them,[a] embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

We must realize that we are strangers and pilgrims on this earth.  We are just passing through.  We should not be looking to the things of this world to provide our fulfillment.  We can enjoy the blessings that God gives to us in this life, but we must always realize that our true reward is in the life to come.

IV.  We Must Be Patient:  Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

We should look to Jesus as our example.  He endured the cross, despising the shame, because He knew that it was God’s will for Him.  We too, should be willing to endure hardship, if that is God’s plan for us.  We should be able to look beyond the cross that we carry to the glory that awaits us.

V.  We Must Serve:  Hebrews 12:25-29

See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake[a] not only the earth, but also heaven.”[b] 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may[c] serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

We must be careful, and diligent to serve as God calls us to serve.  We should be thankful that we do not have to offer our service to God in our own strength.  God will give us the grace that we need for the task to which He calls us.  God will give us the wisdom and the strength that we need to carry out His purpose in our lives.  Remember that we work for a reward that is eternal, with consequences for us, and for others, that goes far beyond this life.

 

Hold Fast

August 29, 2012

Here are the notes from Sunday August 26th.

I.  Give Heed:    Hebrews 2:1-4

Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?

Those who rejected the Law of Moses were punished.  It is even more important that we give heed to the message we have received through the Lord Jesus Christ.  We must give heed, lest we drift away.  Christianity is not about a single moment when we give ourselves to the Lord, but it is about a lifetime of walking with the Lord.

II.  Hold Fast:  Hebrews 3:5-6

And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.

Moses was faithful throughout his life as a servant of the Lord.  We too, are to be faithful in our service.  As we continue in faithful service we can remain filled with the confidence and hope that God gives to us.  In this world life can be uncertain.  I am very glad that in Christ we can have both confidence and hope.

III.  Hear His Voice:  Hebrews 3:7-11

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:

“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
In the day of trial in the wilderness,
Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me,
And saw My works forty years.
10 Therefore I was angry with that generation,
And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart,
And they have not known My ways.’
11 So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’”

May God help us to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit as He directs us through this life.  May our spiritual ears be open and may we be obedient to God as He directs our steps.

IV.  Exhort One Another Hebrews 3:12-14

 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,

Let us be careful to continue in our walk with God, and may we also encourage one another to continue steadfast in our commitment to Christ.  We are not alone, we are a part of the people of God and we should look out, not only for ourselves, but also for our brothers and sisters in Christ.

The First Step

November 26, 2010

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”  (Proverbs 9:10)

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, foe he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”  (Hebrews 11:6)

Faith is the initial premise to achieve true understanding.  Faith is not the conclusion to an argument.  When we interact with others we offer to them a relationship with Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  This offer is made through the Word of God, and is confirmed by the Spirit of God.  It is not achieved by logic, reason, or empirical proof; but by the Word, and the Spirit.  God has ordained that we must come to Him in faith, and then He will bring understanding as we grow in Him.

Faith is the first step that we take towards understanding.

Slowing Us Down

February 24, 2010

On Monday, as I was struggling to continue my run around and around the track, it occurred to me that running was easier when I weighed less.  I know, you would think with all the exercise that I do, my weight would be where it should be, but I like to eat. On Monday, I was up ten pounds from last summer, and up twenty pounds from a couple of years ago.  I have been half-heartedly trying to lose weight since last spring.  It goes up, it goes down.

I have decided that I need to get serious about losing the weight that I had regained.  I would like to trim off some of this excess weight before my next long run in a couple of weeks.  I just think that it would have to be easier to run if I wasn’t carrying the weight belt (fat) around my waist.

These thoughts reminded me of something far more important.  Hebrews 12:1 says “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…”

If our Christian race needs improvement, we can look at two things.  First, are we stubbornly remaining in a sinful practice?  Or are we making a half-hearted attempt at change?  Let us get serious about removing sinful thoughts, words, and actions from our lives.  Second, are we doing those things that we know are good for our spiritual health?  Are we consistently reading our Bible, spending time in prayer, and attending church?  Or do we claim that we do not have enough time?  We should examine our schedules to see if the activities that occupy our time are the right things.  If we are too busy, then we need to cut out something other than our spiritual disciplines. 

Most of us could stand to lose some weight.

I think it is slowing us down.

In, not of, the World

February 12, 2009

Perhaps you have had someone scornfully ask you “What planet are you from?”. 

Hebrews 11:13 reads “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. ”

As Christians we recognize that we are passing through this life.  It is a pilgrimage, a journey; our true home is in heaven.  We are in this world, but not of this world.   

There are two dangers in this viewpoint.  The first danger is represented by the old saying “so heavenly minded, you’re no earthly good.”  We do live in this life, on this world, and it is important that we do the things that we are supposed to be doing.  We are not simply waiting for the bus to take us home, there is work to be done.  However, we are not to be so consumed with work, that we are out of balance.  Our lives in this world should be marked with a balance of work, recreation, rest, study, prayer, etc.

The second danger is that we may become so consumed with the affairs of this life that we forget our true home.  Our faith, although we may give it lip service, may be relegated to the very smallest corner of our lives, taken off of the shelf only in time of need, or on special occasions.

May God give us wisdom and strength to live in this world as we are supposed to live.  May our lives be lights that shine in the darkness, that people will see in our lives the difference that Christ makes in us.