December 4, 2011

Living a Cross-Centered Life: Chapter Five

Hebrews Week Five – Jesus:  The Perfect High Priest

I missed meeting with you girls last week.  I left my computer at home and spent Thanksgiving with my family in Walt Disney World.  We had beautiful weather and ENJOYED being all together in the “happiest place on earth!”  When I returned, I checked my web site and loved hearing how you used our time apart to catch up on and dig deeper into your lessons.  Your personal stories, prayers, words of wisdom, and answers bless all of us.  Please continue to share.  And for those of you who feel  behind, please hang in there and be encouraged.  We will take a longer break over Christmas to enable everyone to catch up and pick up again after the first of the year.   But for the next two weeks, we will dig back into Hebrews.

Throughout the book of Hebrews, the author continually presents a revolutionary picture of God and of Jesus.  This chapter is no different.

In the Old Testament, God was aloof.  Because of sin, He had to separate Himself from His people.  The Israelites were forbidden from being in His Presence.  Every interaction they had with God had to be done through an intermediary…a priest. 

But God longed to regain the relationship He once had with Adam and Eve in the Garden.  To accomplish this, He sent His Son, Jesus.  Through Jesus, God was able to once again become part of  our lives.  He experienced in His own body everything we think and everything we feel.  He did this so He could sympathize and deal gently with us. 

In John 10, God gives us a beautiful picture of His Son as a shepherd, the Great Shepherd.  The shepherd always stayed with his sheep.  He slept at the gate of the sheep pen.  He knew His sheep by name.  Just as the shepherd loved his sheep and gently dealt with them, Jesus loves and deals with us in the same way. 

Keep this picture of Jesus in your mind as we study again how Jesus was better than the Old Testament priests, more specifically how His priesthood was better than the Old Testament priesthood.   

 

 

This Week’s Memory Verse: But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.  Hebrews 5:14.

This Week’s Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to teach me each and every week.  Thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit Who teaches me and gives me understanding.  Father, I offer back to You all that I have learned.  Please take it and multiply it within me.  Take me to deep places with You.  Over these next months, the principles I have learned will be expanded.  You will give me more “meat” to chew on.  Enable me to ingest it and digest it.  Don’t let a single morsel of knowledge go unused. May I be different for the time I have spent with You.  With every day I spend in Your Word continue to heighten my spiritual senses to discern Your voice, to know truth from lies, and good from evil.  Teach me, Lord, teach me.  I ask all this in Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

Assignment: Read Hebrews Chapter Five

Homework Questions:

Once again, the author of Hebrews presents his case that Jesus is superior, again pointing to Jesus’ priesthood and the fact that He is the Great High Priest.  The frequency with which he addresses this subject matter in this letter reveals what a great stumbling block this truth was to his audience.

1.  Read Hebrews 5:1-5 and list the qualifications for the Great High Priest.  If you want to dig deeper read Exodus Chapter 28 and Numbers 25:10-13. 

 

2.  How is Christ similar to Old Testament high priests?  How does He differ?

**I want to remind you to continue to hide your memory verses in your heart.  This week’s verse is a key memory verse for our study.  What we are studying is deep and difficult.  Pray this verse when you are struggling with the lesson and  feel discouraged.  Know that with every verse you read and every question you answer, you are training your mind and deepening your faith.  God will bless your efforts.  He is faithful! **

 

3.  For the next several verses, the author of Hebrews sets forth evidence to prove that Jesus meets all the requirements for high priest, and is, in fact, the only perfectly qualified high priest.  He begins with a quote from the Old Testament…the same verse quoted in Hebrews 1:5.

  • What is the Old Testament verse? (Hint: it is from Psalm 2)
  • Why does he use it again here?
  • Read Romans 1:1-4.  How does this passage support the author’s words in Hebrews 5:5?

 

4.  The author presents more evidence in the next verse.  God not only said: “You are my Son,” but also said, “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”  He quotes from Psalm 110:4.

Who is Melchizedek?  He is mentioned in only two places in the entire Old Testament – Genesis 14:17-24 and Psalm 110:4.  We will discuss him more in Hebrews Chapter 7.  First, Melchizedek was a king and a priest. Aaron was only a priest.  Tuck these facts away in your mind for a later lesson. 

Scripture reveals nothing about Melchizedek’s ancestry.  We know he lived during Abraham’s time, long before God established the Aaronic priesthood.  Why is this important?  Because it reveals that he was a priest of a different order.  He did not come from the Levitical line which began during the time of Moses and ended with the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. 

There is nothing in the Old Testament recording Melchizedek’s death.  We can assume he died, but nothing records his death.

  • From the facts I just stated, share how Melchizedek’s priesthood was different from and superior to Aaron’s priesthood.

Okay, let’s stop here and take a breath.  If you are thinking, I give up.  I will never get this stuff.  It is too complicated.  Please do not give up!  I had these very same thoughts.  I promise!  But then I read to the end of this chapter and was encouraged by the author.  You see he knew these thoughts would flood our minds.  He speaks specifically to our thoughts in the last few verses of this chapter.  Stick with me.  You will be so thankful that you did.  You are digging deep into God’s Word.  He will bless you richly as He takes you deeper still with Him. 

 

5Read Hebrews 5:7-8.  In these verses, the author states how God prepared Jesus for His priesthood during His days on earth.

  • Share what you learn in Hebrews 5:7 about Jesus’ next qualification.  See also Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 2:48-52, 22:39-46, and John 4:6-8, 19:16-18, 25-30.
  • Read Hebrews 5:8.  What is the next piece of evidence he offers for Jesus’ qualification?

How can the Son of God “learn obedience?”  Read these words written by Warren Wiersbe:

 i]n the same way any son must learn obedience: by the experiences of life.  We must remember that our Lord, in His earthly walk, lived by faith in the Father’s will.  As God, He needed to learn nothing.  But as the Son of God comes in human flesh He had to experience that which His people would experience so that He might be able to minister as their High Priest.  He did not need to learn how to obey because it would be impossible for God to be disobedient.  Rather, as the God-man in human flesh, He had to learn what was involved in obedience.  In this way, He identified with us.  

His preparation involved the experience of suffering and death.  The best, and oftentimes only, way to learn sympathy is to suffer ourselves.  Jesus learned obedience through suffering.  He learned the full meaning of the cost of obedience because for Him, the path to obedience led to death on a cross.

 

6.  What a wonderful truth this is.  There is no pain, no loss, no hurt so deep that our God cannot sympathize.  When our hearts are breaking, He is right there with us, enveloping us with His Love and Presence.  He whispers into our hearts, “I know my child, and I understand.  No matter how hard it is, precious one, I will never leave you or forsake you.”

  • Read the following verses and share what they speak to you:  Mark 14:35, Matthew 26:42, and Luke 22:43.

Friend, if you are hurting or doubting God at this time, take comfort in these verses.  God did not take Jesus’ circumstances from Him.  Rather, He equipped Him to face what He had called Him to do.  Jesus knew this was the only way He could become the perfect High Priest that God had destined and called Him to be.   God will do the same for you and me!  Sometimes God may choose not to answer our prayers in the way we asked. Sometimes He may choose not to change our circumstances.  But through the power of His Holy Spirit He will strengthen us to change our prayer, to pray more earnestly, and/or to trust more deeply.  He will equip us to rise up and be ready to handle whatever it is He has calls us to walk through.

  • Share what the following verses teach you about prayer:  Luke 3:21-22, Luke 6:12, Luke 11:1-13, and Luke 18:1.
  • Does this lesson challenge you in your prayer life?  What one thing will you change in your prayer life because of what we have studied today?

 

7.  Read Hebrews 5:9.  In what ways was Jesus’ sacrifice different from those offered by the Old Testament high priests?  For insight, read Leviticus 16:11, 15-16, and  29-34.

 

8.  There are only two possible responses to Jesus’ work on the cross.  You either believe or you don’t.  Whoever believes, whoever puts their faith in Jesus Christ, obeys His call and receives eternal salvation.  Whoever does not believe, no matter how good or how moral he is, is disobedienct and will not receive salvation.

  • Read the following passages and share how Jesus suffered and sacrificed to become your great high priest:  Isaiah 52:14, Isaiah 53, Mark 14:6-72, and Mark 15:16-20.
  • What part of Christ’s sacrifice to be your perfect high priest touches your heart the most?

In verse 10, the author again brings up the name Melchizedek.  Are you like me right now saying, Oh, no, not him again!  I think the Jewish audience to whom he was speaking said the same thing.

The author knew this.  So just before he launched into a deeper discussion about Melchizekek, he interrupts his teaching with a warning.  I promise, you will understand this warning.  He is very clear.  In fact, when I read it, it became that Hebrews 4 living and active word we studied.  It pierced my heart to its core, causing me to ask myself, is that me?

 

9.  Finally, we arrrive at our memory verse.  It is our third warning.

  • Review your reading and homework to locate the first two warnings (hint: Hebrews 2:1 and Hebrews 3:7-8).
  • Now read Hebrews 5:11-14.  What is the third warning in Hebrews 5:11?
  • What words does the author use to describe his audience?

In the King James translation, he says his audience is “dull of hearing.”  The word “dull” comes from the Greek word nothros, which means “slow, sluggish, indolent.”  It refers to a condition of spiritual apathy and laziness that retards spiritual development. 

  • Is this verse speaking to you?  Have you walked with God for a long time?  Have you been reading the Bible for years?  If you answered yes to these questions, then ask yourself these questions.  Are growing in the knowledge of the Word?  Are you going deeper in your prayer life? Are you living out your faith in a way that is unmistakable?

If his words convict your heart, let me encourage you.  You are not stuck because you are here!  You said “yes” to God to study His Word.  You said “yes” to make yourself vulnerable to join this group.  God is moving and working in your life. 

Friend, God wants us to LOVE and DELIGHT in His Word.  Listen to these words from Jeremiah:

When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty.  Jeremiah 15:16

Don’t you love that!!  Because Jeremiah bears God’s Name, God’s Word is his joy and heart’s delight.  When God’s Word comes to him, he eats it.  He did not just read the Word; he digested it so that it became a part of who he was.

That is my prayer for us today.  That we would so love God’s Word that it would be the source of our joy and our heart’s desire.      

 

10.  Read Hebrew 5:12. 

  • What is the author telling his audience is their problem?
  • In the NIV, he says, “you need milk, not solid food.”  What do you think he means when he uses “milk” and “solid food?”

 

11.  Read Hebrews 5:14 and rewrite it in your own words. 

  • What characterizes a mature believer in Hebrews 5:14?
  • What does spending quality time in God’s Word contribute to your relationship with Christ?
  • Read 1 Timothy 4:7 and 2 Timothy 2:15 and share what you learn.

 

12.  Our study this year is entitled “Living a Cross-Centered Life.”  What have you learned over the last few weeks to help you better live a cross-centered life?

 

As we close our lesson today, please know that I continue to pray for you and look forward to reading your comments each and every day!

Blessings,

Comments

  1. Hi Wendy and Ladies!

    I wanted to say hello and thanks for an interesting and inspiring study.

    I have a few general questions about the people in the old testament.

    Since we learned the high priest was going before God once a year to atone for the people’s sins, what about atoning for the people’s sins the rest of the time? Did the people go to God directly every day like we do and pray to Him for direction and forgiveness of sins or did they go to a priest only once a year to confess and receive forgiveness? I read Leviticus and what a specific and graphic description of sacificing and confessing sin. Did the people get those directions only once a year from the high priest?

    Was this another reason Jesus was revolutionary–people could receve God directly as their Lord and Savior and they did not have to wait once a year for the high priest to get forgiveness of sins?

    thanks, I hope I wasn’t confusing!
    Karen

    • Hi Karen, what a great question. The people came to the temple daily all throughout the year to receive forgiveness of sin, and the priest would offer sacrifices on their behalf individually…but not in the Holy of Holies. Then on that great Day of Atonement, the high priest would enter into the Holy of Holies to offer sacrifice on behalf of all God’s people all at once. It was like a cover all day. If there were any sins left uncovered throughout the year (either unconfessed or forgotten), they would be covered on this day. It guaranteed the people that on that day they were were covered by the blood and “right” with God for that year. Then the whole sacrifice process started again the very next day.

      And, yes, this is why Jesus was revolutionary. No longer do people have to go to the temple or a priest and wait in line for a priest to offer a sacrifice on their behalf for forgiveness. Jesus died once and for all. One sacrifice. Because of that every person can now go right into the presence of God and ask for forgiveness on their own sin.

      Hope this helps your understanding of this process. We will continue to dig into this in later chapters.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  2. Does this lesson challenge me in my prayer life? This has always been an area of confusion for me. Yes I take my concerns to God and always add for the strenghth and courage to accept his will. However, in his wisdom, he knows what is best for me, can my prayer change things. For example, my daughter does not take standardized tests well and despite all her studying and hard work she did not pass her first attempt at her Physical Therapy boards. We had a group of prayer warriors petitioning for her, however the outcome was not in her favor. I regrouped and prayed for this to be a growing prossess and suggested that she dedicate her job to God. Again we are taking her concerns to God nonstop. She is taking her boards again today and I have devoted this entire day to God, and my spiritual growth in hopes of gaining favor and despite the outcome, something positive will come out of it. I am just challenged with these verses in regards to prayer.

    • Prayer is so difficult to understand. The main purpose of prayer is to draw us into fellowship with the Lord…to keep us close to His heart so we can feel His presence and know His voice and hear Him speak. It is also how we can see Him at work in our lives and through our prayers. Sometimes He may not answer exactly as we ask, but He is faithful and will be at work through our prayer, accomplishing His purposes. How I remember this as I prayed for God to heal Lauren’s spine so that she would not have to have surgery. But He chose not to miraculously heal her, and she had to have the surgery I dreaded and prayed against. But what God did during that time and what He has done since then was His highest and best for her…even though it included surgery. We saw His hand at work over and over again throughout her entire journey of healing. He truly does know best.

      Let us know how her testing goes.

      W

      I join you right now praying for your daughter….believing God for a passing grade!!!

  3. Michele Caséca says:

    Hi Wendy,
    Hi ladies,

    I have one more reason to be thankful this week. God gave me a new opportunity to see my beautiful family. I’m studying chapter 5 in my parent’s home in Brazil.
    What a nice chapter! And what a nice message, Wendy!
    We ARE growing in faith. We ARE seeking God and learning His teachings! We are walking towards spiritual maturity!

    I thank you for this study Wendy! You have blessed me beyond words!
    I feel so happy and blessed today!

    Mi Caséca

  4. Nothing too profound to write at the moment {I’m only on number 1 right now}, but I just wanted to share an image of the High Priest’s ephod and other garments that I found online; I love visuals. If you’re going deeper on number 1, this image labels each piece with the verse reference in Exodus 28. I hope y’all find it useful!

    http://bit.ly/uZmEqv

    <3 Heather

  5. Erin Person says:

    Hi Wendy and everyone

    Thank you for this study! I have been challenged and blessed by the wonderful ‘meat’ you are helping us dig out of the Word and by the way you tie so many Scriptures together, Wendy, not to mention your gift of making the Word so visual, with great imagery. Today I was struck by the symbolism of the stones, engraved with the names of the sons of Israel, that were worn over the high priest’s shoulders (his burden to carry them before the Lord) and over his heart (his honor and as a loving gift to bring the people before the Lord). What a beautiful image to think of Jesus doing this for me, as well as for us, as we bring our own circles in prayer before the Lord.

    I am so thankful today that we have a great High Priest who ‘able to deal gently with [our] failings, since he knows what it’s like from his own experience’ (The Message). There is so much to learn and to put into practice from God’s living and active Word. The challenge of this week’s memory verse is an inspiration to keep on digging deeper. I am really appreciating this study and the beautiful and helpful comments you are all posting. Blessings on your day!

    Erin, Stockholm, Sweden

    • Hi Erin, so excited to have a friend from Sweden in our study! I too love the visual image the stones leave with us. And you are so right…there is so much to put into practice. We must pray for discernment as to what God is calling each one of us to do individually in response to His Word. Please keep sharing!!

      Blessings,
      Wendy

  6. Very cool visual Heather- thank you! Yay Michele on your visit to Brazil! Cherlyn, praying for God’s peace which surpasses all understanding to flood you and your daughter through these trials…

    Wendy, I understand how Jesus is a descendant of David through geneaology, but when it says “in the order of Malchizedek”, does that mean in the same character (as in God-centered, set apart, different and better than Aaron)? I had been stuck trying to put 2 geneaologies together, but I’m excited thinking that this might be what the scripture meant (I decided to go on to the next question, then all of a sudden, a God-inspired lightbulb…)

    I am SO loving this study! Thank you so much!

    xoxo

    • You got it, Noelle. Jesus is not in the line of Levi, and thus not a descendant of Aaron. Under the Old Testamant Law, a high priest had to come from the line of Levi and be a descendant of Aaron. Under the Law, Jesus could not be a high priest. That is why God tells us He is a priest after the order of Melchizedek. It is clear from God’s Word that “Mel” was a priest, but he was not from the tribe of Levi as he came many years before Levi even came into existence. In fact, Scripture tells us nothing of Mel’s history/lineage. So Mel is a priest of a different order. He sets the precedent for Jesus to be a priest of a different order. Does that make sense?

      Don’t you just LOVE this stuff??!!!???

      Love you,

      Wendy

      • I do!!!! :)

      • I totally get it… I think you did a great job explaining it earlier and now again here… it was a mental block on my end. Thank you so much for taking the time to help in such detail :) When I was at She Speaks (only the coolest, most amazing gift to be there), there was an awesome girl in my group whose words never left my heart. She took me aside and told me to drown myself in God’s Word, and to not just ask, “What does this mean for me and my life?” but instead ask, “What does this tell me about God?”

        Well, after the lightbulb moment with Jesus being in the order of “Mel”, and from all of the teachings of Jesus, it showed me how unconventional God is. How many times have I thought of myself as not a “normal” (not that there is such thing as normal) girl… and moreso, how many times has my musician husband struggled with his self-esteem because he’s not a “normal” guy bringing home a “normal” paycheck… We had great talks yesterday reaffirming one another, realizing that just so long we are following the Holy Spirit’s lead, we are on the right track. Normal and being conventional is so overrated… so last year :)

        Thank you again Wendy! I love you tons!

        • Noelle, I don’t know how old you are — but in my years of being I have found that “normal” is forever changing so how can one be normal. It is good that you and your husband can grab this and hang on to it. I cherish those that are “not normal” personally. :)

  7. Ok, a light bulb just went on. I was rereading the memory verse: “But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5:14. and the words” constant use” spoke to me. Since begining this study I have devoted a sinifigant amount of time to reading God’s word. I have found a greater understanding and appreciation of who Jesus is, and the sacrifices he made for us,how to reference other scriptures to enlighten your studyand just a deeper appreciation for God’s word.. You have opened a whole new world to me. However it has been with constant use that I have grown. Much like my dieting attemps in the past, which has been mediocre at best, my weight remained unchaged. My spiritual life remained unchanged as well until I put forth the extra time and effort. I may not quite be at solid food but I’m working my way there. Thank you for being the vehicle of enlightenment!

    • Wendy and Noelle, Thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement!

    • Your words are beautiful words, and they are encouraging words for a teacher of the Word to read. Thank you for sharing from your heart. What you shared has blessed me tremendously. It is what I pray for all of us….that God would bless our time and take us to deeper places with Him as we dig deep and get serious about His Word. Please continue to share how God speaks to you.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

  8. I wanted to say hello and I am enjoying the study. I have been a Christian for a lot of years and I realize I am a “babe” in many ways as Hebrews 5:13 says. Thanks for the study.

  9. Laura Lim says:

    Wendy,
    I only finished Chapter 2, as i was away on holidays in Nov and then I was not well in body for a week.. but I will continue to do the study. You have made this study an interesting one and inspired me to do it.. I also know you have put in a lot of “heart” work preparing the lessons and praying for us.. May the Lord bless you abundantly!

    • So fun to hear from you Laura. I am so happy to know you are joining us. You will have lots of time to catch up over Christmas. No hurry. I love what I do…as you know. Thank you for the blessings!!

      W

  10. Picturing Jesus as a shepherd is just so comforting to me. I come from a family of sheep farmers. I remember by grandfather providing the role of shepherd to his many sheep. . . not one of his sheep was any less important to him. . . just as none of us are less than the other to Jesus. Whether we are mature christians who are feasting on the solild meats of the word, or we are babes who are still in the weening process (immature and needy), He loves us just the same. Oh how sweet it is to trust in Jesus. The more I read His word, the more I seem to understand my life and that the worries and struggles I face each day are not new to Him. Thank you so much for allowing God to use you, Wendy, as a tool to open my eyes, my heart and my mind to His word. “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus!”

    • That is so cool that you come from a family of sheep farmers. Thanks for sharing that with us and for reminding us that the Lord is with ALL of us no matter where we are with him…babies in the Word or walking for decades in the Word. His heart is that we move from one place to the next, going deeper still with Him!!

      Blessings,

      W

    • Lori I love that you come from a family of sheep farmers…tell us more sometime so much to learn there about the LORD as our Shepherd.

  11. Hey girls! Wendy, I am beyond thrilled to be a part of this study….we got a new modem for our computer last week, and I can finally hear your teachings!!!! I have several weeks of make-up work, but I am in a happy place!

    All of the comments are so encouraging and filled with wisdom–thank you girls!

    Wendy, in your video, you encourage us through the scriptures to be those teachers of the Bible–even though we’re not the Beth Moore’s (I just love her!) or the Billy Grahams. Thank you so much, sweet friend. I truly needed to hear that this morning. Cheryln, thank you for encouraging us to continue to dig into the Word consistantly. :)

    Hoping to be caught up and ready for chapter 6 by the time we start back so I can share my comments and nuggets of His Truth with you.

    Sweet blessings,
    Susan

    • Oh, Susan, sweet friend, I LOVE knowing you are a part of this study. I think of you often as I have the beautiful framed cross you gave me on my kitchen counter. We will be taking three weeks off for Christmas, so you will have PLENTY of time to catch up. Be sure to comment because I know you will have wise and pertinent things to share with us.

      Blessings,

      W

  12. Wendy,

    I have to tell you that this study is so AWESOME…better than I anything I could of imagined for my first online bible study. I am so IN LOVE with Jeremiah 15:16! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the prayer, time, and effort you’ve put into this study. I’m praying for big blessings to come your way :)

    Ashley from New Jersey

    • Thank you, Ashley. Your prayers mean so much!! I love what I do, and I am so grateful to have such an amazing sisterhood of women studying God’s Word together like this.

      W

  13. I am so loving this study! Sometimes I just am unable to resist the urge when I have an a-ha moment to share. ‘Mel’ and Jesus were also KINGS! Not only did they have a common link as to both being priest designated by God outside of the clan of Levi, they were set apart as king and Jesus is the Great High Priest and King of kings (making him superior to ‘Mel’ even) Our God is cool, and very very clever. He covers all bases. Take that satan.

    I am so thankful for all of you. I made a note in my journal to go back and copy and paste Noelle and Wendy’s discussion about Mel. Then I also skipped some pages to copy and paste, Heather, Lori, Cheryln’s comments…keep them coming. Soooo good! Thank you Wendy for taking the time to encourage and comment after each of our comments on a regular basis, this is what makes an online Bible study feel like a personal study of God’s Word with each other in the same room – participation from everyone including our teacher. Now back to my study…

    • Great insight, Yanna! Thanks for sharing. I got a bit lost on question 4 about how “Mel” and Jesus were similar to each other but different from Aaron. Reading everyone’s comments has been very helpful. Yours added even more insight. Isn’t it great to be able to delve into God’s Word together with like-minded women all over the world! Have a great day.

      • Alex it is wonderful. I think about all of us going to Heaven and if we just sit around talking about God like a big book club; that will be Paradise. Can you imagine how fun. This is what He did for me, remember this story, laughing as we watch everyone act out their parts again like a big family reunion. Moses, David, Esther, Abraham, Paul, John, Luke, all the saints before and after us….taking their turns telling the story of Jesus. Sitting on a cloud all day eating a feast, and family sounds good to me!

  14. Hey y’all, this has nothing to do with our study, but if you have second or two, pop over to Karen’s site and read a beautiful guest post and giveaway by Wendy :).

    Click on the link or the pretty pink icon to the right {the one with the trees}
    http://bit.ly/sRJpGl

    <3 Heather

  15. Ashley, Thanks for the verse. I marked it it my bible. It echos my feelings exactly.!!!!

  16. I’m sorta behind! But I love this study! Wendy, I wish you could go through the whole Bible like this.I’m understanding so much better! This last weekend, I watched clips on YouTube from the passion of christ! I cried watching how he really suffered for all of us! It makes you really think! Thank you for this wonderful study and the people here and your great posts!

  17. Oh my, tears. What a heart moment. God could not be disobedient so He came here to experience obedience, so he could identify with us. That’s what it is all about. I just love having a God window opened into my soul and will stop here and just soak it in all day.

    Thank you Wendy, for this study, I will be praying another one is in the making. :)

  18. As I read some of your posts I was reminded of a favorite verse – - when I am speaking to women’s groups I quote John 3:16 as do so many people. However, most of the women I speak to need to also hear John 3:17, so I always include it as well. It is wonderful to know Jesus came for us because God so loved us. It is incredible (to me and for me) to know that Jesus came not to condemn but to save . . . how could one not want to know more about Him given His love for us.

    Wendy, this is my second study with you and I am loving it. I try to study the Bible on my own (we are quite far from town) but your studies help me immensely. Thank you. God bless!

  19. Wendy — Your question asking us to compare “milk” with “solid food” really put my brain and heart to the test. I looked up the words “elementary truths” — (milk) in the Greek. It means “one in a row of many.” In other words, I may be stuck on “one letter” of God’s Word when He wants to show me an amazingly enormous treasure of truths from my Bible! What have I missed out on — stuck on “one little letter.” If I had a child in first grade who was stuck on one letter of the alphabet, I’d be getting them some serious help! And yet — am I as concerned about me being stuck on the “elementary truths” and not moving on to “solid food?” And “solid food” means not only “eating,” but “swallowing and digesting” His Word. I need to read, study, meditate, pray over, believe, trust, obey, live out — everything that I have heard. And keep my ears open for more! “Pay careful attention” as is says in Hebrews 2:1. Oh — what have I been missing because I haven’t been more careful to “rightly divide” His Word and live each moment in it’s truths. He is pushing me to live like I believe it! Exciting!! KK

  20. First of all, Wendy, may I say that I absolutely love this Hebrews Bible study! This is the second study on Hebrews in which I have participated, and I really enjoy the online format more than I thought I would! Thanks, Wendy, and Proverbs 31 Ministry gals, for all the great things you do!

    Now, as to what I have learned over the last few weeks about living a cross-centered life…God’s messages for me come in twos or threes. For example, since beginning this study, I have asked myself if I am truly anchored in Christ, am I growing in my study and worship of Him, and am I being diverted from my time with Him? Last week during a church women’s ministry function, I heard God tell me that I needed to give Him more of my time in the new year. Then, in our pastor’s message, God spoke to me for the third time about focusing on Him more.

    I want to give Him whatever time it takes for me to read, study, pray, and soak up His precious words. May they be permanently imprinted on my heart and in my mind so that they shape my attitudes and behaviors every day.

  21. Just really getting into week 5 and loving the richness of this study. Thank you Wendy for the reminder to keep our memory verses close to heart & in our minds. I haen’t been memorizing them & really new to. I lost that practice a little while ago & I miss doing sonia kept me in a strong place throughout years. I have let to much time go without doing so.
    That being said I didn’t specify what week 1 & 2 memory verses were and I can’t see any studies on the blog prior to week 3. Can any of you ladies help me out? Thanks for you all’s (ok… I am in Georgia so I’ll just say it…) y’all help me out! ;) Thanks for that grace.
    April

    • Hi April, thanks for sharing how you are enjoying the study and the memory verses. About your question, when you scroll to the end of the first three posts and get to the bottom of the page, look for a link that says “older posts” and click on that. It will take you to the first few weeks of the study. Let me know if you have any trouble.

      W

  22. Dear Wendy, I am really enjoying this study. I had been reading Hebrews repeatedly the in the last year before I found this site. I really appreciate this format. I just wanted to share that I put the teaching and the homework which I copied and pasted together on the screen and while you are teaching I type notes above the question section. I also copy and paste other’s comments that I find helpful.
    This section about Jesus having being a merciful high priest who although God was also fully human, who having suffered is able to understand what we go through seems like a good place for thought that I had. I have often wondered about the phrase from Philippians 3:10 about knowing the “fellowship of his sufferings”. Last week we were driving home from another doctor’s appointment and I was thinking about this and the thought came to me that fellowship is an intimate sharing of people who have experienced the same or similar things. There are groups on Facebook dedicated to the very painful and crippling neurological disease I have, and we understand each other and share with each other in a way that we can’t with others, not because they don’t care, but because they don’t have the same pain and limitations ,etc. I was thinking how Jesus can share in our sufferings, but we can also share in and have fellowship in his sufferings when we experience physical or emotional pain.

  23. I’m just checking in to answer what you asked for in Question 12. This study really has been wonderful for helping me to refocus on the reality of the cross and the importance of in-depth study of God’s Word each and every morning. Although I start every day out with Scripture and prayer, it’s been awhile since I’ve done anything as in-depth as I have been able to with this study. It’s been refreshing. I used to study God’s Word with a pile of reference books beside me all of the time. Then I had kids. My time in the Word became much briefer. God has reminded me, through this study and through some recent circumstances, of the importance of devouring his Word… not just snacking on it. More than that, when I spend each and every day with my focus constantly on the True Word, Christ, I am better able to handle the challenges life throws at me.

    Thanks again for facilitating this, Wendy.

  24. I’m behind this week, just now finishing up number 5… 

    It’s the subtleties of scripture that I love, like in number 5 when we read Luke 22:39-46; especially vs39 when it says, “as usual to the Mount of Olives.”  I just love how God gently reminds us that even His own Son set aside time to talk with his Father one on one through prayer.  He sets the example for us.  Jesus spent a great deal of time moving around, teaching for hours and even days on end, healing those inflicted with diseases and possession, but even Jesus, knew He needed to set aside time to be strengthened and filled by His Father in order to continue preaching.  As a human He allowed Himself to experience weariness, hunger, thirst, sadness, and even death. Sometimes we miss these precious moments when we read through quickly, trying to get to our answer.

    So what is my excuse?  Why do I allow myself to get so lazy with my quiet time?  If it’s good enough for Jesus…it’s good enough for me!

    <3 Heather

  25. This weeks lesson has been doubly sweet as we begin to celebrate Christmas and Jesus coming and in the same excitement think aboutJesus suffering on our behalf- How He loves us! I am so grateful.

  26. I am totally humbled and overwhelmed by what I am learning in this study. I have been so convicted that I am such a ‘baby’, even though I have been walking with God and learning His Word since I was a young child. Instead of getting me down, though, this conviction has inspired me (as only Scripture can do!) to go higher, deeper, further with God. I want Him so much more!! I have been brought to tears when I understand, even in the tiniest amount, how much Jesus went through and suffered for ME; how my feelings of loneliness are NOTHING compared to what my precious Saviour so willingly, humbly, and quietly went through for us. And it’s been encouraging to be reminded that nothing worth having is easy. Our knowledge of Scripture, our relationship with God, our maturity in Christ – they are not meant to be easy. They are just like getting up early in the morning to exericse. We don’t always want to, but we know how good it is for us. But how much more important is ‘exercising’ towards godliness and diligently presenting ourselves approved to God is so, so, so, so much more important. Thanks so much, Wendy. Your obedience to God has truly changed my life! I can’t wait for the next chapter.

    • Well said and very heart felt. It is exactly what I have been think and praying. I love when you said nothing worth having easy, it is so true. You have blessed me today so continue to seek Him and find Him.

  27. In drawing to the end of this week’s study it’s lovely to see us reach the common conclusion: we must all make a conscious effort every single day to spend time with God and live in obedience to what we’ve learned from Him. The only way we can be sure to make the right choices for the day is to let God’s spirit in us fill out our mental “daily planner”.

    “Dear Father help us to digest the solid food, these hidden gems of scripture, giving us an appetite (for the things of God) that nothing in this world can satisfy. Give us a willingness to give you the pen to write our daily agenda’s for us. We want what you desire for us. Thank you for everything in our lives that has led us to where we are right now… in Your will and wanting more of You. “

    • Amen! Thank you Judi :) Your prayer really grabbed my heart knowing a bit of your personal story. You are beautiful, sister!

      Like you and Heather, I’m amazed at how, when we are taking specific, intentional time to “digest the solid food, these hidden gems of scripture”… it’s the only way to beat the enemy’s schemes. I know my knee jerk default is to be conformed to the pattern of this world, but the only way to be transformed by the renewing of my mind… the only way to test and approve what God’s will his, His good, pleasing and perfect will… is to have a relentless hunger for solid food!

      Thank you Wendy for challenging and encouraging us to live out Hebrews 5:14 and 1 Timothy 4:7 ravenously eating and digesting solid food so we can reap 2 Timothy 2:15!!!

      How blessed we are…

      xoxo

  28. Yanna Westmoreland says:

    I sure am thankful this is an online study with lots of “time” as well as understanding when I am not stopping in my day and doing my lessons! I just finished lesson five, and will watch the video tomorrow as well as catch up on all the comments. I must confess I have “put off” my quiet indepth study time. Although I contine daily to read the Word with my daily reading app on my phone every morning…do I sound like an infant on milk. (grin) It’s so encouraging how God says exactly what we need to hear when we need to hear it. I stopped at question number 5 because I wanted to soak it up, then I just kept procrastinating and did not return to the study for a week! I love how God in Hebrews 5:14 tells us to Use it or Loose it. (in my own words question 11 Wendy). He speaks loud and clear. Then again He reminded me in I Timothy 4:7 and II Tim 2:15 it takes training, as well as correctly handling the Truth so that someday God will say “Well done good and faithful servant” Matthew 25:23. As I was typing this I felt an overwhelming sense of love, God corrects us and He loves us when we listen. God is so good.

  29. Yanna Westmoreland says:

    Also another thought I had as I spent time in Hebrews 5,. When we just learn God’s Word as students we are drinking milk. In order to become mature and eat the meat of the Word I think we need to teach; share it with others. I know when I practice what I learn I become more proficent, have better recall, do my own digging deeper in order to share and grow in knowledge about a subject…like cooking. I can read cookbooks all day (which I tend to do) it’s when I get in there and start cooking do I learn and develop skills, as I have watched my husband over the years cook he has become a gourmet cook because he’s in the kitchen all the time, he develops his own receipes, knows the ingredients, knows what works and won’t work. He does most of the cooking and I wash dishes! Sounds like a Martha and Mary story to me….:) God is so funny. I love you ladies! Thank you Wendy for teaching and feeding us big chunks of the Word. I can only imagine how much you have grown and how you crave knowledge of Him. Have a blessed day.

  30. What a neat chapter! I am so glad that Jesus is our High Priest!

  31. Wow! I am honestly still catching up. Just worked through Chapter 5…it was deep to walk through the crucifixion passages having just celebrated Christmas. He knew from birth all that He would have to suffer and yet willingly and quietly obeyed. I wish I could say I was always on solid food…I seem to have periods when I can only keep down milk! Thanks to all of your comments and insights! I really like the idea someone shared of adding them to my study that I work from on my laptop. It also amazes me how creative and involved God wants to be in my life…I need to seek Him first to rest in His peace.

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