Heroes of Hope: A Study of Hebrews 11
Perhaps you are weary and beaten down by this life right now, and hope feels like an impossibility.
Maybe the storms and seasons of your life right now are threatening to sink you, and your faith is shaken.
Maybe life is good, and you just need some encouragement to keep going.
Whatever your situation, turn with me to the Hall of Faith, the Heroes of Hope, this summer. We’ll journey through Hebrews 11 and look at all of the people that the writer calls faithful. They weren’t perfect people. They really weren’t anybody special – just an average Jane or Joe like you and me. And yet, their stories, their perseverance in the midst of trial, suffering, ridicule, and death give us hope – hope to keep moving forward, following in faith even when it seems impossible.
Won’t you join me as we study these amazing heroes?
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”- Mark 12:28-31
You’ve probably read this verse in one the Gospels many, many times. And there’s one word that shows up four times in the greatest commandment that we like to gloss over – that tiny little three letter word: all. Let me tell you what this verse doesn’t say. It doesn’t say, “Love the Lord your God with some of your heart, with a little of your soul, with as much of your mind as you can spare, and with a bit of your strength.”
No, it says: ALL your heart, ALL your soul, ALL your mind, and ALL your strength.
How do we do that? In a world where we struggle to give ALL of our attention to anything, let alone ALL of our strength to Christ? Why are we called to love Him with ALL of our lives? What did He give to us that we should give Him not only ALL of our heart, but ALL of our lives? Is God really good ALL the time, or only when things are going well?
Allowing God To Cultivate Our Character: Reflections On The Fruit Of The Spirit
This eleven-chapter study on the Fruit of the Spirit is an engaging study perfect for individuals or groups. As we walk by the Spirit, we allow God to cultivate each of these characteristics in us, and through that cultivation, this fruit becomes evident in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Each of these are imperfectly possible in our own human power, but only through the work of the Spirit can this fruit be made complete. As people see our lives, they should be able to see the fruit of the Spirit, and begin to ask questions. Would that our lives point to Christ and to the cross, allowing God to cultivate this fruit in our lives for His glory.