Lesson 12: Run the Race
Friends, we are drawing close to the end of our study. We have one chapter left. You have been absolutely amazing! Thank you for your commitment and the hours and hours of study and commentary you have put in to make this study one of the best ever. I pray that each one of you will feel called to join us for the next one. Please be in prayer for what comes next. I am praying.
As I close teaching and writing this chapter, I am overwhelmed by the magnificence of our God!! Before you begin your lesson today, spend some time praising God through His Names. He is worthy!
El Elyon, Most High God
Sun of Righteousness
Prince of Peace
Lamb of God
Bread of Life
Light of the World
All Consuming Fire
Sweet friends, God is all this and more! He is Who He says He is. He can and will do what He says He will do! He is a faithful God. My prayer is that we will encounter God in a fresh new way today as we open His Word this week!!
This Week’s Memory Verse: Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. Hebrews 12:1-2(a) (NLT).
This Week’s Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of faith. Thank You for the great men and women of the past who set a great example for me to follow. When times get tough, and I struggle to see You in my circumstances, draw me back to You and to Your Word. Lift my eyes to You, the One from whom my help comes. Strengthen me, Lord, from the inside out and enable me through the power of Your Holy Spirit to run my race with endurance. Give me the mind of Christ and protect me from the lies of the evil one who prowls around like a roaring lion seeking to discourage and derail me from the path You have for me. When I want to give up, fill me with Your Hope and point me to Your Truth. Lord, I thank You that with You nothing is impossible, and that I can do all things through You who strengthens me. I ask this all in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Assignment: Read Hebrews Chapter Twelve
1. Read Hebrews 12:1-2.
- List the three pieces of advice you find in verses 1 and 2.
- Read Romans 15:4. What does it say?
2. The author tells us to run the race with “endurance.”
- Define endurance.
- How does 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 speak to Hebrews 12:1-2?
3. What is the first step to enduring according to Hebrews 12:1?
- What weighs you down in your spiritual journey?
- What keeps you from “stripping” off these constraints?
4. Read Hebrews 12:2. What is the third and final step to running our race?
5. Read Hebrews 12:5-6.
- What are the author’s two instructions about discipline in verse 5?
- Who does the Lord discipline?
6. Read Hebrews 12:7-10. Distinguish between how an earthly parent disciplines and how our heavenly Father disciplines.
- List some ways that God disciplines.
- Share a time in your life when you received God’s discipline. How did you respond? How has God used that time in your life to correct and refine you?
*If you would like to read more verses on discipline, read Proverbs 6:23, 12:1, 15:5, 15:32, Zechariah 13:9, Romans 5:3-5, and Revelation 3:19. Share what they teach you about discipline.
7. Read Hebrews 12:10-11.
- What are the blessed results of God’s discipline?
- What does the author mean when he says, “But afterward (after the discipline) there will be a peaceful harvest of righteousness for those trained by it?”
- Why does the author use the word “trained?”
8. Read Hebrews 12:12-13. Read Isaiah 35:3-4.
The author of Hebrews sensed the spiritual weakness in his audience. He felt a strong call to encourage them to renew their strength. We find a similar metaphor in Isaiah 35:3-4. Both the prophet Isaiah and the author of Hebrews are calling the body of believers to strengthen one another. In strengthening the body, we strengthen others and ourselves.
- What are some ways we can strengthen the body of Christ?
- Read Isaiah 58: 10-12. How does this verse relate to our discussion?
- What are you doing to strengthen the body of Christ? How has serving the body in this way strengthened you?
9. Read Hebrews 12:13 again.
- Read Proverbs 4:25-27. How does this passage reinforce the author’s words in Hebrews 12:13?
- Practically, how do you do this? List steps you are taking or will take to leave a level path.
10. Read Hebrews 12:15 and Deuteronomy 29:18-19 and Deuteronomy 29:20.
- What do these verses tell you about bitterness and turning your heart away from God?
- Read Ephesians 4:1-5. Share what this passage speaks to you about what we are studying in this chapter.
- Practically, how do we rid our heart of bitterness?
If you are in a place of bitterness, please tender your heart to the Lord and pray this prayer:
Heavenly Father, Your grace amazes me. Thank You for dying on the cross for me when I was still a sinner. Thank You for the pain, humiliation, and rejection that You endured for me. Thak You that Your sacrifice was sufficient to forgive all my sin. I know my unforgiving attitude toward _____________ grieves Your heart. Forgive me for not extending grace and forgiveness the way You extended it to me. You know how he or she has hurt me. Father, I ask in the name of Your Son, Jesus, for the strength to forgive _______________. Help ensure that no root of bitterness grows up in my heart. I leave all my hurt and all my pain at the foot of the cross, and I ask You to begin your healing work in my heart and mind. Take away my hurt and my selfish thoughts. Fill me with thoughts that are pure, righteous, and praiseworthy. I ask this in Jesus’ name.
11. Read Hebrews 12:18-24. What the writer of Hebrews wants his audience to know is that God offers two paths for us. This same message is weaved throughout Scripture.
- Read Deuteronomy 30:19, Joshua 24:15, and Matthew 7:24, 26. What do you learn about choices? (If you want to dig deeper and read more on the giving of the Law, read Exodus 19)
- What image of God does Mt. Sinai leave with you?
- Contrast this with the image of God Mt. Zion leaves with you.
- Read Galatians 4:24-26. How does the author of Galatians describe the two mountains?
- What are the blessings we find/receive in Mount Zion? (name as many as you can find in Hebrews 12:22-24)
12. Read 2 Corinthians 1:22. How has God identified us as His own? What does it mean for our lives?
13. Read Hebrews 12:25-29.
- What is the warning in verse 25?
- What is God’s promise in verse 26?
- Read 1 Peter 3:10-13. What does it say? Read Revelation 21:1-7? What is to come?
14. The author speaks of the shakable and the unshakable things.
- What are the shakable things?
- What are the unshakable things?
- To what are you more heavily anchored…the shakable? the unshakable?
- What are we called to do in response to this unshakable kingdom we will receive in the last two verses of Hebrews Chapter 12?
Blessings to you,