February 5, 2012

Living a Cross-Centered Life: Hebrews Chapter 11

Hebrews Chapter Eleven:  It’s All About Faith

(If you are looking for my “Choose NOT to be Offended” devotional post, please click here.)

What is faith?  We are about to spend an entire week studying the meaning of one of the most significant words in Christianty.  Without it, there is no salvation!

I love Warren Wiersbe’s definition of faith:

“True Bible faith is confident obedience to God’s Word in spite of circumstances and consequences.”

We are about to see faith come alive as we embark on a journey through Hebrews’ Hall of Fame.  God has given each of us has great stories of faith…times God has called us to take a step of faith, and, through it, He has done great things. I share one of my big faith stories today.  I would love to hear yours.  Please share your stories with us this week.  The faith stories of others always bless and encourage my own faith.

Let our journey begin…

 

This Week’s Memory Verse:  Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

This Week’s Prayer:

Oh, Father, how I long to be a woman of faith.  Help me to trust in You above all else in this world.  Help me to loosen my hold on what I treasure in this world.  Keep my eyes fixed on You, the Author and Perfecter of my faith.  No matter what my circumstances look like, no matter what man says to me, keep only Your Truth before me.  Give me the mind of Christ.  Thank you for this chapter which not only teaches me what faith is but also shows me.  Keep these truths ever before me.  Grow me, Father, to be a great woman of faith.  A woman who trusts in You for all things. A woman who others  look to for hope and encouragement.  Use me, Lord, to bless others and to lead others to a closer walk with You.  May my faith point them to You.  May my faith make them hunger for more of You.  I ask this in Jesus’ precious name.  Amen.

Assignment: Read Hebrews Chapter Eleven

Homework Questions:

1.  Let’s talk a moment about your faith.

  • When did your faith first begin?
  • When has your faith been its strongest?  Why?
  • When has your faith been its weakest?  Why?
  • How would you describe your faith now?  Explain.
  • As we embark on a journey through the heroes of the Christian faith, who are your heroes of the faith?

 

2. Read Hebrews 11:1-3.  

  • Write this verse below and then write it again, but this time in your own words.
  • Now read Romans 10:17.  Write it below and then write it in your own words.

 

3.  Read 1 Corinthians 2:9-10.  What insight do these verses give us about faith?

 

4.  The heroes of the faith each left a great legacy.  What about you?

  • Looking at your life right now, what will be your legacy?
  • Perhaps a better question is what do you want to leave behind?  What do you want your legacy to be?
  • What steps do you need to take now to ensure that you leave this legacy?

 

5.  Hebrews 11:4 introduces us to Abel.  If you would like to read Abel’s story, read Genesis 4:1-10. 

  • Why do you think God was pleased with Abel’s offering and not Cain’s (hint:  Genesis 4:6-7)
  • If God’s decision bothers you, read the rest of the story in Genesis 4:8-16.  What does this story reveal about Cain’s heart?

6.  Read Hebrews 11:5-6.  To learn more about Enoch, read Genesis 5:18-24.

  • What do you suppose close fellowship with God looked like at this time?
  • What lesson of faith does God want us to glean from Enoch’s life?

 

7.  Read Hebrews 11:7 and Genesis 6:9. 

  • List the words used to describe Noah.  Based on these words, what kind of man was Noah?
  • Read 2 peter 2:5.  How does Peter describe Noah?
  • Read Genesis 6:5.  What does it tell us about the world in which Noah lived and those to whom he preached?
  • If someone asked your friends to describe you, what words would they use? 
  • What words would you use to describe yourself? 

 

8.  Read Hebrews 11:8-19.  The author spends most of his time in this chapter on Abraham, the Father of the Hebrew nation.

  • Why do you think he devoted so much time to Abraham?
  • What does Joshua 24:2 tell us about Abraham?
  • Yet God chose him anyway.  What do you think God saw in his heart to call him out?
  • What actions did Abraham take because he had faith?
  • What did God promise Abraham? (hint:  Genesis 12:1-5)

 

8.  Did God ask you to give up when you entered your new life? 

  • If you answered yes, what was it?
  • What did you receive in return?
  • Was it worth it?  Why or why not?

 

9.  Read Hebrews 11:11-12.  These verses tell us that, Sarah, a barren woman conceived a child.  And because she did, an entire nation of people came to be.  Every Jew that has been or ever will be is the result of Abraham’s faith.  And you and I share in that legacy because of our faith in what Jesus did on the cross. 

  • Are you struggling with something today for which you have asked and trusted God?  Be encouraged by Abraham’s story.  Read it and hide it in your heart.  Allow all that it reveals about God, His character, and His Word seep into the marrow of your bones.  
  • Read Mark 9:23, Matthew 19:26, Ephesians 3:20, and Philippians 4:13.  Share what eachverse says and hide the truths in your heart.  Pray fervently for your struggle!

 

10.  Read Hebrews 11:17-19.  Abraham’s greatest proof of faith came when he willingly surrendered Isaac on the altar.  In doing so, he was giving back to God the son of the promise….the one and only person who could fulfill God’s promise to him.

  • Why was Abraham able to obey so quickly?

Abraham knew the promise to which he was clinging, and he knew the One who made that promise.  He knew that One was faithful.  To have a faith like Abraham’s, we too must KNOW God’s promises and must believe that He is faithful to deliver them.

  • Is there something you love as much as Abraham loved Isaac?  Is God asking you to be willing to sacrifice it in obedience to Him?
  • Are you willing to trust God enough to give it to Him?
  • Take one step of obedience today.  Share that step with us so that we can pray for you.

 

11.  Read 2 Timothy 1:5.  Read Exodus 2:1-10.

  • What does these verses teach about faith?
  • What do you learn about the faith of Moses’ parents in the Exodus passage?

 

12.  Read Hebrews 11:29 and Exodus 14:12-14.  Here again we see another step of faith…this time for Moses in his own life and the life of his people.

  • What are Moses’ words to the people?
  • How did they respond?

The people  believed Moses’ promise from God and marched right through the seabed, with a mountainous wall of water on each side.  Can you imagine how terrifying, yet awe-inspiring, this event must have been?  The walls of water could have descended upon them and drown them all at any moment.  The Israelites had no guarantee except God’s Word.  They heard it through Moses and put their faith in it.  Faith is trusting in God’s promises.  But we must know the promises.

  • Read Romans 10:17 again.  What does it say? 
  • Do you know God’s promises?

 

13.  I love the story of Joshua!  Read Joshua 1:1-9 and Joshua 6:1-5.

  • What does God say to Joshua in Joshua 1:1-9?
  • What instructions does God give to Joshua in 6:1-5?
  • How do you think what God promised Joshua in Joshua 1 impacted Joshua when he received the instructions in Joshua 6?
  • What does this story teach you?

 

14.  Read Daniel 6:1-23 (Daniel and the lion’s den) and Daniel 3 (the fiery furnace).  Share what you learn about faith from these stories.  Pull out specific verses that exemplify faith.

 

15.  Let’s go back to Hebrews 11:6.  

  • What does the author mean when he says, “without faith it is impossible to please God?”
  • What two things must you believe if you want to come to God?
  • Do you believe God rewards those who earnestly seek Him? (see Deuteronomy 4:29 and Jeremiah 29:13)
  • Do any of the heroes we have looked at this week particularly reinforce the truth of this promise for you?

What a wonderful blessing to study these heroes of the faith. My prayer is that the Lord will move each of us one step closer to becoming the great women of faith He has called us to be!!

Sweet Blessings to you!

 

Comments

  1. Oh Wendy… I’ve been so looking forward to this week. I love the powerhouse of faithful, obedient servants! And your stories… they brought me to tears. My heart is now even MORE on fire to be so tender to God’s voice and to be obedient to His calling… even- or especially- when it means that I’ll have to step out purely in faith. Saying “Thank you” seems like such an understatement… so in the spirit of my 9 year-old daughter, I’ll say thank you times infinity! By the way, she learned Hebrews 11:1 as a rap. If I can figure out how to video and send to you, I will. It’s hysterical to see my Chinese wonder with little to no rhythm rapping!

    So much love to you Wendy and all my girlfriends! Have an awesome start of your week!

  2. Janet Lutz says:

    Hi, Wendy and friends!

    I have certainly been enjoying this Hebrews Bible study! Each and every lesson has given me something to ponder and pray about during the week; but I believe that last week’s lesson, and most especially, this week’s, will have the most powerful effect on my life.For several weeks now, I have been wanting to share this information and ask for help and prayers, but at the expense of sounding too negative, I have held off. Please don’t take the following information as a downer, for I dearly love my saviour Jesus Christ and am truly grateful for his amazing sacrifice for me, a sinner!

    For 10 years now, the issue in my life that continues to ask ,e to live by faith is our current business situation. My husband and I own a rental business in a very economically depressed city in South Carolina; in fact, a year or so ago this city was voted by Forbes Magazine as “The Most Vulnerable City in the US.” The largest employer of the people here was a textile mill with several locations in other nearby SC cities; but approximately 5 years ago, this mill pulled out of all cities and moved to China! A large percentage of our renters were employed by this industry, and most of them are still looking for work as I write these words! Consequently, our units have many tenants who are not paying and are quite in arrears; there are also units that are empty. In addition, many new renters begin with their initial payment, and then either lose their jobs or simply spend what little money they have on other “more important” things! This continuing state of affairs is a huge problem for my husband, who tries desperately to be a Christian landlord and employer! Over the past 10 years, I have tried to be a Barnabus for my husband, with constant encouragement and prayers throughout the day! I try to be thankful for the fact that the good Lord continues to provide us with a house in which to live, food on the table, and money to pay the bills; but the time is rapidly approaching when we might not have enough money ourselves, because a huge part of our “income” (my husband does not draw a regular salary) goes toward paying employees and business bills/loans, etc. It is very hard and becoming increasingly more difficult for me to keep a positive outlook when all of this is going on, this information is pressing in on my mind, and my husband (who suffers from a progressively worsening pain disease) comes home each day in a depressed mental and physical state from the day’s happenings.

    I really crave “the joy of the Lord,” and I pray for joy that is overflowing each day; however, I continue to ride the roller coaster down with my husband many times! Please help me; any advice, encouraging words, etc. and prayer will be most appreciated!

    • Janet, thank you for sharing your heart with us and the hurt and pain lurking in the recesses. I hear the deep desire in your words to experience a full return of the JOY of the Lord. I live in North Carolina, and I remember hearing about the closing of that textile mill on the news. When we see stories like that, we truly have no idea the impact it has on so many in a community.

      First I pray for the Lord to begin to draw people to and fill your apartments, one by one, with people who are able to and will pay their rent. I also pray for the Lord to provide for every need you have in the interim in very real and personal ways that you will know it is Him. I pray He will shower you with His presence and His faithfulness as you wait upon Him. I pray you will keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfector of your faith…give Him every anxious thought so He can fill you with His peace, the peace that passes all understanding. And I pray a for a wondrous, miraculous filling of JOY that all will see. It will be a witness to the power of our God!! And I ask all this in Jesus powerful and effective name.

      Please keep us posted.

      Blessings,,

      Wendy

    • Janet– My heart is filled with compassion for you and what you are going through. I understand so clearly having a piece of property that is not paying for itself and threatens to pull you under with the financial strain.

      Janet, I have had a piece of property that I have been trying to sell for 7 years. The first two years, my husband and I tried to cover the bills and everything on our own. It was excruciating. By 2007, we GAVE the house to the Lord. I literally told him, “It’s your house. Whatever you want to do with it, I am fine with.” Directly after that, I felt an answer come, but I held it in my heart. Renters showed up a day later who rented the home and covered the entire bill until January 13th of this year.

      The past two and half weeks, I have been in the house to clean it up and get it ready to sell it. I was reminded of the answer he gave me in 2007. I began to paint a closet in the house and then remembered something else that happened in 2007 when I committed the house to him. I remembered I had written scriptures in my closets. I ran to the first closet and found: Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of his heart.”. I found the next scripture in my bedroom closet Proverbs 3:5& 6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on you own undertanding. Commit all your ways to him and he will make your paths straight and your ways smooth.”

      Needless to say, we are moving on what God showed us he wanted to do with his house right now. We are pursuing it passionately and hungrily knowing full well he will provide for his dream for this house.

      We were prepared to sell the house to get out from under the burden and walk away with no profit. Now, God is going to use it for his purposes, and there will be many people that profit from it here on earth, and we will see a huge profit in heaven from it. We will see all the people he helped through that house and all the people they influenced to Christ from generation to generation.

      Janet–Be encouraged to surrender this rental property to the Lord. Believe that he will show you what he wants done with his house. I will pray this for you today, sis.

      Robin

      • Janet and Robin,
        I am praying for both of your properties. Robin, I love the wisdom of surrendering what we have to the Lord! This brilliantly complements Wendy’s opening prayer for this week’s study (it is making me consider all the things I have a tight hold on where I need to loosen my grip). I am praying that as you two offer these properties to Him, He floods you with peace, His intimacy and provision.
        xoxo

    • yanna westmoreland says:

      Prayer warrior on duty Janet.

  3. Wow, Wendy…just wow…

    I think this has to be my absolute favorite video from this series so far. My heart rejoices in your faithfulness to God’s prompting and tears of joy are filling my eyes.

    Lord, thank you for the living example You have given us through Wendy of what faithfulness looks like. Listening to Your voice, seeking confirmation, and obeying Your command. We never know just how You want to use us to share a blessing on another person, until we submit and trust You with whatever we are called to do. Whether it’s giving someone something precious to us, calling them at just that moment for no other reason but to offer a word of encouragement or pray with them. Help us Lord to hear Your still small voice each day and to live by faith. In Your Son’s precious name we pray. Amen,

    I’m so ready to dig in…but first…I just have to watch this video one more time :).

    <3 Heather

  4. By the way, as I watched this video, the song Legacy by Nichole Nordeman kept running through my head.

    http://bit.ly/NNlegacy

  5. Wendy… What a beautiful, beautiful, BEAUTIFUL story of faith you shared with us! Thank you so much for letting us know just how God has spoken and transformed your heart to match His. This is a wonderful story that I’ll be sharing with my husband. I, too, have struggled with the same types of things, and I’ll continually pray that God will help me much like he’s helped you. You are a beautiful person inside and outside, and I’m grateful to you for taking time to lead us in this study and share wonderful stories like you’ve done this chapter! Almost a year ago, now, I gave birth to our first daughter, Nadia Noelle. Throughout my pregnancy I had difficulties, and the day I gave birth to her, I was told I needed to rush to the hospital because the umbilical cord was cutting off her circulation and her heart rate was drastically dropping to dangerous levels. The entire way to the hospital, I was in tears, wondering Why? Why today? My husband is in the Navy and wasn’t home, but was due to come home to me the next day. I was angry that this was happening and worried that I was going to lose our baby. I heard God telling me to trust in him. I prayed and prayed, and by the time I was hooked up to monitors at the hospital, they were telling me that her heartrate was normal, but I was in labor (even though the painful contractions hadn’t kicked in for me yet.) I should also tell you that during my many ultrasounds, we had found that my baby never grew one of her kidneys. I watched them search and search her entire body, even one week before she was born, and there was nothing. It was going to be fine, but it would require more effort to keep her only kidney functioning correctly and also dietary changes…. Back to her birth. I gave birth to my beautiful daughter, and she was small, but healthy as can be. One kidney, but it was working great. Right before we were getting discharged a few days later, something happened. My husband was holding her while I was filling out papers (we were about an hour late on checking out and everyone was rushing us!), and suddenly Nadia stopped breathing and had turned an awful blue right before our eyes. I ran to the nurses, and watched as they grabbed our daughter and started running down the hall with her flung face down in their arms. 20 minutes later she returned in an isolette receiving oxygen, and we were told she’d have to be monitored in the NICU for a week. We stayed the night, and the doctor’s called up to us multiple times during the night to tell us it had happened again and again, each time with them having to revitalize our girl. I had never felt a pain like that in my life. I began to lose that faith quickly, and my husband who can read me like a book could tell. He grabbed my hands in his, and told me “I know you, Marybeth. You are woman of faith and that’s one of the reasons why I fell in love with you. Don’t lose hope. Trust in God. We’re going to pray.” And we prayed. Prayed, prayed, prayed. 7 days later, we took Nadia home to us. They had found a heart defect, but said they only needed to check it in four months to find out if she needed surgery. She was hooked up to an apnea monitor for a month, but no more episodes happened. Faith got me through that scary time. Amazing things started to happen, too. I truly believed that God would heal our daughter. I believed it with everything I had in me. And 4 months later, at her cardiology appointment, they said her heart was completely healed. Then, the most amazing thing happened. My entire church was praying for Nadia’s kidney situation. When I took her to see the specialist when she was 5 months old, they wanted to check out her only kidney to make sure it was still functioning normally…. and all of a sudden, they moved the ultrasound equipment to check the void where the other kidney would’ve been had it grown, and right below that space (where I’ve watched them check before with my own 2 eyes) was a second kidney. Fully grown, fully functioning. The technicians and doctors stared blankly saying it was amazing because it wasn’t there before, and it grew as large as the other and functioned completely. I told them hundreds of people had been praying for this, and God has been so good to our girl. He told me to “trust” and have faith, and when I did, he healed Nadia. Completely. And that is my story of faith. Scripture talks about a faith that can move mountains, and I have a faith that can grow kidneys. :) I won’t say that I didn’t lose it when I thought I was losing my baby girl, but I will say that God has given me a husband that knows just when I need a little push back in the right direction, and for that, I’ll be forever thankful. I apologize for writing a novel on here, but I really felt like I should share my story. Thank you for everyone who sat through the entire thing- typos, grammatical errors, and all! :) Lots of love to you all girlfriends!

    • Marybeth, what a story. God is still in the miracle working business.

      Wendy, thanks so much for your faithfulness in bringing this Bible study.

    • Marybeth, thank you for sharing this testimony. It is so encouraging hearing what God does for others especially when it comes to our children as they are our hearts!!!!! I am overjoyed that Nadia is healed – Praise God! :)))) He is SOOOOO GREAT!!!!

    • Marybeth, WOW!! What more can I say? Our God is the same Yesterday, Today, and Forever. He cannot help but be Who He is. He is Jehovah Rapha, God our Healer, the Great Physician. He must have a most incredible plan for your sweet girl’s life. Continue to share this amazing story. It is a testimony of faith, hope, and of God’s great power and faithfulness. So many people, especially unbelievers and skeptics, saw more of Who He is through her life.

      Blessings,

      Wendy

    • Wow Marybeth, just WOW!! I am in tears reading this! God is so good! Praying that the blessings of God would follow your precious daughter all the days of her life as she serves Him by sharing this incredible story of God’s compassion and power!

      <3 Heather

    • WOW…Wonderful story of faith!!! God is SO GOOD!

    • Marybeth, THANK YOU for sharing this. What a testimony… brings me to tears :)

    • Charlotte Askew says:

      Marybeth, your testimony has blessed my heart and soul today. I agree with everyone else….WOW…

  6. Wow Wendy…this is great. Made me think about ALL the times we are reminded about the Lord”s promises for us. Just looking at all those Bible stories you listed, over and over it is there for us. In the battlefield of life we forget that it really is as simple as…
    Not “if” the Lord will be there for us, but ‘how” is His promise going to look when it happens.
    Not “can” the Lord fix it, but that HE “will” fix it.
    Not living outside of His promises, but the gift of living inside His promises…
    some simple words, “if, how, can, will, outside, inside, but we make it so hard. I LOVE the freedom of giving it ALL to HIM and KNOWING that He has me in the palm of His Hand and center of His Heart!~

  7. Ok, I am here joining the others with tear filled eyes. Your stories were so very beautiful. You are truly a blessing Wendy. I am going to look forward – like i do all our chapters- to reading and studying this chapter. I just came homre from a class I’m taking at church which is on Faith. This is going to be a perfect accent to that class. I cant wait to see what is revealed in ch 11,

    have a great week everyone,

    Deb

  8. Todays studycould not have come at a more needed time. I am struggling today with the news that my daughter has failed to pass her Physical Therapy Booards now for the third time. This is a child that did very well through her schooling but struggles with standardized testing. She now has to wait another year before she may take it again. We have placed our struggles in God’s hands and even today as she called with the news I told her we had to trust in God’s plans. She was to be married this summer and she was to start payment on her student loans, so finacially there are challenges to face. Of course now she has lost her job as well. It is not the finances that worry me as much as my daughters heartache and disappointment. I am trying to hold firm to Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Without these past weeks of study and strengthening, I’m not sure I would have the peace in my heart that is now present. It hurts, but I am at peace.

    • Cheryln, I am so sorry to hear about this. We prayed for her to pass the last one, and I truly thought that would be the news we heard. Praying now for you to continue to walk in peace and trust and for the Lord to give you the words to minister to her in this difficult place. Praying that in and through it she will see God at work. Perhaps He is redirecting her path. If He is, I pray He will make it very clear and give her eyes to see and ears to hear where He is leading and what He is speaking.

      Blessings,

      W

  9. In the Bible, we always see a physical manifestation of what God is doing spiritually. For example, Jesus washing the disciples feet is a physical example of what God did spiritually for us on Calvary…forgive our sins, and then further asking us to forgive our neighbor as ourselves.

    I understood a deep truth about this chapter while running up a road that was wooded on both sides with extremely tall trees. As I looked at the trees, they crowded in as if they were looking down on me. I could see the blue sky peeking through their tall branches. Then I looked down at the base as if the roots were watching me struggle up the hill.

    Instantly I understood that there are two lessons in the Hall of Faith, a physical one and spiritual one.

    The heights of the trees represented the Hall of Faith members watching us from Heaven. They cheer us on when we step out in faith and do the things God created us to do (Eph 2:10). They encourage us from above when we need to go one step further.

    The bases of the trees represented family, friends, and strangers watching us here on earth. They are watching our faith. They will either see a committed Christian living out their faith or turning away from their faith.

    P.S. Wendy, loved your video. P.P.S.S You had a bracelet, I had a house….:)

    http://www.therealrobinjones.blogspot.com/#!http://therealrobinjones.blogspot.com/2009/09/empty-boxes.html

  10. Thank you Wendy! This weeks video lesson especially touched me and makes me focus on listening more to the voice of God. I appreciate your sharing these details with us. You encouraged me and thank you for being transparent. It’s week 11 and this means we are nearing the end of Hebrews and that saddens me :( It’s been an awesome journey!

    • I am sad too. I always dread the end of our studies because I miss meeting weekly in God’s Word. Please continue to visit until a new study starts!!!

      W

  11. yanna westmoreland says:

    Whew Wendy Hebrews 11 is incredible! I realize I have only begun to know God’s Word and am in awe of every Word, every song, every breath in it and just want more and more. I learned something new I had not connected with Abraham about his dad, now that was cool. I was moved to tears as I answered the personal questions Did God ask you to give up when you entered your new life? Yes. What was it? Myself. What did I receive in return? Him. Was it worth it? yes priceless value beyond measure Why? My cup overflows and blessings are too many to count and now I have a purpose for my life to live for Him. I do believe I could live on a remote island, a Bible would be nice, but now that I have Him in my heart all I need is Him. He fills me heart, soul and mind. God is. I love; I Am that I Am really does describe God.

  12. Martha T. says:

    What amazing stories have been shared in the comments this week and in Wendy’s video! They are quite encouraging to me! Thanks for sharing them!
    I am looking forward to getting into this chapter(I am running a bit behind)!

  13. yanna westmoreland says:

    I usually wait until I answer the questions to watch the video, but after reading everyone’s comments I just watched your stepping out in faith moments Wendy. Wow. Such an encouragement to listen to God’s voice and obey! I was touched by your tenderness and emotion. Not knowing how long ago or how recent the event with the lady at the grocery store was it is still evident God made a lasting impact putting you on His path for another.

    By the way, you look beautiful! Purple is a very good color on you and everything about you in the video was “pleasing to the eye”. :)

    Ladies I am praying for each of you who shared your specific prayer request. It is by faith that we trust God and know Jeremiah 29:11 is true and when God speaks He means what He says. Hugs to each of you as you face days when there seems to be no answer.

    • Thank you, Yanna. Sometimes I want to do my videos in my jammies!! But that would probably not be a good idea cuz you never know who is watching in cyberworld. :)

      Hugs back to you,

      W

  14. We have so many everyday trials because we are aliens and strangers on this earth. Although we know that God will give us peace that passeth understanding and that he can heal our hurts, isn’t it wonderful to know that someday we, as Christians, will be headed home – to a city that God has prepared for you and me in a better country! How HEAVENLY is that!! In the meantime – thank you all for a Bible study that is a little heaven here on earth!

  15. Hi,

    The one thing that touched me so significantly is that people probably thought Enoch & Noah were mad! They didn’t have the bible, they didn’t have fellowships, they were alone with God. Their WALK with God was highly personalised and they probably liked talking to God, listening to Him speak to them and willing to do as He had commanded.

    I wish my relationship with God can be like this, I long to find joy and peace in the presence of God, I want studying His Word to be like the very air I breathe, I want to know Him just like my closest friend. This study has been absolutely wonderful, I now understand what David was feeling when he said “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God” Ps. 42:1.

    Best regards,
    Olayinka

    • Love your heart….I want that too. I want to have a soul that thirsts and pants for more and more of Him!!! And being in His word always makes us long for more and more. He is faithful to deliver.

      Love,

      Wendy

  16. I still don’t know if I’m going to ‘post comment’ on this. I’m only committing to writing it down… I got saved right after the birth of our 3rd child. My “husband” got saved 3 months later. We were immediately ‘officially’ married and baptized. I gave up nothing for God. He only showered me with blessings… a saved husband and a Christian home to raise our 3 beautiful children.
    Kids grew up and left while we made plans to serve God after taking an early retirement. We sold the acreage. Just before the next step (last August) I got an email from my husband that has all but killed me. He wanted a divorce and is pursuing another relationship. I couldn’t believe it. There are days I still can’t.
    One day last October he came by (to deliver the divorce papers!) and we ended up having a heart to heart talk. Hours and hours later he asked me to take him back. I removed myself from his presence to pray and ask God what was happening. It was obvious that my husband was far from God, but… I love him…Never has God answered my prayers so fast. He asked me if I love Him more than anything? Am I willing to follow Him? I had been in tears for about 12 hours. A friend was about to pick me up for Church… I had to make a decision. Get back the husband I love and shared dreams with serve God with my life. It seemed He was telling me I couldn’t have both. With only the strength God gave me, I told my husband that the way back to God wasn’t in a woman’s arms… hers or mine. He had to put God first. Then I left for Church.
    Right after that he became very bitter and hostile to me. I’m now left without support and trying to figure out what road God wants me to take.
    Wendy, your questions in this chapter have made me ‘take stock’ in this whole situation. I DO have hope that our dream of serving God together will somehow come to pass; I DO believe God is totally able to turn my husband’s life/heart around. But if it doesn’t happen, I DO believe He will have something else for me. In spite of my terrible and shocking circumstances, I’m spending most of my days in God’s presence and in His word. I’m doing 3 studies with the women of Proverbs 31 ministries. And I’m healing…
    Sisters,thank you all for sharing your stories here. I don’t know if it’s ‘right’ or not, but I feel like I want to encourage you ladies to be thankful that you’re walking on your hard road with your husbands. Continue to pray for and with him. Give thanks for him… You’re all in my prayers now.
    I don’t know what purpose it will serve to post this. I hope it will help someone…

    • We are so thankful you shared your story. Your painful step of obedience is such an example for all of us. And remember, sweet friend, the Lord promises in His Word to bless obedience. So He will be blessing you…only He knows what those blessings will be. But we can be sure they will be exceedingly, abundantly above all that you could ever ask or imagine!!!

      Blessings to you,

      Wendy

    • Sweet friend Judi,
      My heart aches for you. At the very end of your post when you questioned the purpose of your posting, hoping it would help someone… I am prayerful that it will help YOU! Now we get to pray for you. I stand behind every word Wendy wrote. Soak up that wisdom and encouragement beautiful Judi! I am praying for you this very second…
      xoxo

  17. I’m just on number 5 right now and I was answering the first part of the question, I went back to Gen 4:3-4. It makes a point to say that Cain brought “some” of his harvest to the Lord, but that Abel brought fat portions, from the firstborn of his flocks. Abel gave Him his first fruits, rather than his careless leftovers as it appears with Cain. For me, this made verses 6-7 make more sense. Cain’s attitude towards God seemed to be lacking any real conviction or faith, which I think is why God warns him that sin was crouching at his door; like an animal waiting to pounce…which it does as Cain decides to take his brother’s life :(.

  18. Janet Lutz says:

    Hi, Marybeth!
    What a beautiful story of faith in action! I cried when I read it both times- and have passed it on to my daughter, who just delivered a 23-ounce boy 2 weeksago. HE is in NICU and will pro. Be there for some months; but your story of miracle after miracle in your sweet daughter’s life will forever remain in my nheart!! Thank you, thank you for sharing it. Blessings, Janet

  19. Question Wendy.

    For number 8, did you mean to ask, “What actions did Noah take because he had faith?” or was it supposed to be asking about Abraham? I answered it for both of them, but I was just curious….

  20. Reading Heb 11:23 and Genesis 2:1-10 helped me answer number 11. I just love this story of Moses. His big sister must have really loved her little brother and believed as her parents did, that he was someone special. She risked her life to follow his little basket down the river and approach pharaoh’s daughter! Then she is able to arrange for Moses to return to her home under the care of his own mother who got PAID to nurse her own child! I have NO doubt that his mother and father did what they could to pass on the knowledge of God to little Moses for as long as they could before having to bring him back to pharaoh’s daughter.

    • Heather, this is so true! It reminded me about a string of conversations we had when Sierra asked us details about her adoption. Ryan and I had prayed knowing these questions would arise. She has always known she was adopted since it is the regular language we use all the time, but she didn’t understand the significance until two years ago. I cried gut wrenching tears when her tiny voice asked, “How could a Mommy let go of her baby?” I prayed and I’m pretty sure it was God’s words that came to me.

      I answered, “That must have been the hardest decision she ever had to make especially as she looked at you and held your little body. You were perfectly beautiful. Your Chinese Mommy acted on faith. God must have told her that there were parents like us who could provide for you. God must have whispered in her ears that we would bring you up to know Jesus. It must have taken every ounce of faith for her to place you snuggly in a box at the west side of the market knowing someone would see this precious baby and take her to safety. She probably watched behind a corner making sure you were safe. The one thing I know for sure, she’s a beautiful lady- just look at you! We just need to use OUR faith now and pray for her- that she has faith to know we are loving you with God’s love. We need to flex our faith and ask God to make sure she knows Jesus as her Savior and we’ll unite with her in heaven!”

      This is the challenge I face, not only in this situation, but in all areas of my life. Am I being SURE of what I hope for? Am I being CERTAIN of what I do not see? I so strongly desire to be a Hebrews 11 girl! I want to be rock solid in my faith. It’s the natural response since Luke 11:13 reminds us “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” I need to expect the best of God!

      Thank you Wendy and thank you girlfriends for challenging me to live Hebrews 11 out… and for loving and supporting me as I do :)

      xoxo

      • Noelle, that is just beautiful!! She is so blessed to have you a mommy!!
        <3 Heather

      • Noelle, what s precious testimony of how to use the Words of God Himself and the Hebrew Hall of Faith in our generation and with your daughter. It is hard not to weep thinking how this for generations to come will be how Sierra will share her story. I think it is beautiful for her to have as a role model Moses’ big sister and an act of love that changed history because of God’s plan. Your prayer was indeed answered as God gave you what to say. As an added glory my 19 year old son is home and I just shared it with him.

      • Charlotte Askew says:

        Noelle, this is absolutely beautiful. You are such a blessing and a beautiful person. Sierra was placed in your lives by God, no doubt at all. He knew the impact you would have on her life and our lives as well. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story.

  21. I’m a week behind in this bible study and I just now listened to this video. What a beautiful story, Wendy! Thank you for sharing that with us–it really touched my heart. God Bless!

  22. While Hebrews seems like it might not apply to our day, as probably we are not Jews or tempted to go back to the temple and sacrifices, I have found it to be so applicable to my life. I trusted Christ when I was a child, but due to personality and major childhood traumas I have struggled since I was a teen with fear, worry, depression, wanting to give up, etc, etc. I have also been going through major health issues due to injury and spreading painful disease for the past several years, and this past year I have read through Hebrews repeatedly, so I was so excited to come across this study shortly before it began. (I can type but not write because of the disease.) There is so much here about perseverance, endurance, faith, trusting God, what we have because we trust Christ, not doubting, not having hard hearts because of unbelief, keeping on going in spite of what is happening in life, keeping our eyes on Christ. I came across this quote in my devotional today: “Faith that moves forward triumphs.” Thank you so much, Wendy.

    • Love this quote from your devotion!!! “Faith that moves forward triumphs!!”

      I too have found this SO applicable to my life. In fact, it has impacted my life more than any other study I have done!!

      Blessings to you,

      W

  23. What a neat chapter and study this have been! I enjoyed reading the OT references and seeing faith in action in lives mentioned in Hebrews 11!

  24. I have been on a roll. Caught up on Chapter 11 and am headed towards chap 12. Thank you Wendy.
    I am so touched ny everyones testimonies and stories of Faith and deeper study into Hebrews.

  25. i am anxious to get closer to being caught up – working on Chapter 11 right now. My heart hurts – my husband and I are having problems; I am definitely not without fault (mostly complaining) and he is beginning to yell at me and the looks of meanness are so unlike him. I know that my faith tells me that God is in control and that I need to be right with God and let God work with my husband, if that is His will. It has just been a very discouraging weekend; I feel physically sick from the fighting and it would be helpful to know that other Christian women are praying for God to work in our lives.
    Thank you for this study.

    • Robin in VA says:

      I will put you in my prayers. Please know you are not the only one struggling with issues such as this. I will definitely be praying for you and your family. I am just now doing chapter 11. (Talk about being behind.) I have to trust however God’s timing is better than ours. Just today, I am giving everything to God and I want to stop telling God how to fix it. :) I pray you have a blessed and joyful day.

  26. Robin in VA says:

    I am just now doing Chapter 11. Question 10 really hit home. I have been struggling with many different issues and changes in my life over the past few years. I have been trying to tell God how to help me fix it all. How crazy is that? I realize I just need to give it all to God and wait on Him. So today, God, I am giving you my life, my daughter, my stepson, my husband, my marriage. You know what has happened, and all that has gone wrong and how I have unforgiveness and how that has grown into bitterness. You know how mean I have been, trying to make others hurt like they hurt me. I am giving you my unforgiveness and ask you to take it from me and create a new heart in me (Psalm 51). God please move me out of the way so Your Glory will shine and this impossible situation will become possible because of You, God, not what I did. As far as our earthly schedule, I am far behind in this study, however, in God’s time, I am doing this chapter when He knew I was ready to accept it. God I am giving it all to You, I can’t do anything on my own. Prov 3:5-6 – God I am trusting you and not leaning unto my own understanding. God you know how to work this out for your good and your will. Thank You God for loving me unconditionally. God I am laying it all down as Abraham did with Isaac and trusting you completely. God the faith I have only comes from You!

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