Acts + Letters Lesson 16 Day 4

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Hebrews 12

Questions for Acts and Letters of the Apostles Lesson 16

Enduring the Faith Race

9. How to persevere Hebrews 12:1-3

Remember our examples and their testimonies—our like-precious-faith heroes [martyrs (TPT)] who surround us in the flesh, in intercession, and in the great cloud of witnesses.

“Both the Greeks and the Latins frequently use the term cloud, to express a great number of persons or things.” (Clarke)
So, the great cloud may refer to all the saints who have gone before and whose testimonies encourage us.

  • Lay aside [discard] sin and other hindrances – [attitude or practice] (p. 1892 SFLB) that so easily clings to and entangles us, weigh us down, trip us up, and keep us from running at our best. (v. 1)
  • “We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us (v. 2 TPT, emphasis added)”
  • Model our lives after Jesus, who is our primary example. He endured rejection and hostility far greater than we have or likely ever will and persevered to the point of death. (v. 3)
    God also “raised us up with [Christ] and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:5-7)

10 a. God is a loving Father who disciplines and corrects those He loves.

He deals with us as His sons. “God’s correction is never to punish us or make us pay for our sins. That was done once and for all at the cross. His correction is motivated only by His love, not by His justice; He chastens us without anger.” (Enduring Word)

“God disciplines His children, correcting and training them to live in His kingdom.” (SFLB, p. 1892)

“Correction, if received with the right attitude of heart, produces the fruit of righteousness. The Father’s object is to bring His children to maturity. (SFLB, p. 1892)

“Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness.” (1 Timothy 3:16)

b. Personal contemplation, correction, and direction

While we prepare to move next June, I sort through closets of stored items, revisit memories, and prayerfully consider future priorities and limited storage.

Those dark recesses confront me with current and former distractions, past relationships, and the way I’ve spent my life. 

Stuff, not just sin, also easily ensnares us, consuming our resources and our time.

I’m asking questions like, “Which items (and relationships) can I and should I let go of?” “What have I neglected or overlooked?”

It’s been a significant season of excitement, anticipation, soul-searching, conviction, repentance, and laying aside the things of earth.

11. Truths

Jesus is our supreme example of how to endure persecution and hardship.

Jesus despised the shame of the cross.

David Guzik writes, “Shame is a significant trial.

Jesus bore a shameful accusation: blasphemy.

Jesus bore shameful mocking.

Jesus bore a shameful beating.

Jesus wore a shameful crown.

Jesus wore a shameful robe.

Jesus bore a shameful mocking even as He prayed on the cross.

This is a stumbling block to many. They will do just about anything for Jesus except endure shame or embarrassment. Spurgeon spoke boldly to Christians who could not bear shame comes from the world for following Jesus: “Yet you are a coward. Yes, put it down in English: you are a coward. If anybody called you so you would turn red in the face; and perhaps you are not a coward in reference to any other subject. What a shameful thing it is that while you are bold about everything else, you are cowardly about Jesus Christ. Brave for the world and cowardly towards Christ!”

Jesus endured the ordeal of the cross without losing His love, joy, or focus. He even controlled his tongue.

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Unless noted, all Scripture from public domain WEB translation.
My answers to BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Acts + Letters of the Apostles Lesson 16 Day 4