Celebrating Hebrews

Posted by on May 1, 2009 in Blog Posts | 0 comments

Yesterday concluded a monumental feat for 35 women. We finished studying Hebrews together. We began this journey in August of last year and “hupomano-ed” (Greek for hung in there through it) together.
It was a feat for me because, as I said to them, I had been afraid to cover an epistle, especially one that had so much doctrine. The majority of this group and I had been going through the Old Testament for years so this was a bit of a switch to shift to the New Testament and a doctrinal letter at that.
I am so thankful we did it, though. It has sealed in our minds and hearts some foundational truths.
It was out of preparing to teach this study that this blog was birthed. Hebrews is a letter of exhortation (encouragement and warnings) to Jewish Christians before the temple was destroyed in the first century. It was a letter written to them so they would continue in the Christian faith and not turn back to their Jewish customs and traditions that seemed easier to them as more and more were being persecuted for believing in Jesus as the promised Messiah who had come, lived His life according to God’s plan, had died also according to God’s plan, who had risen from the grave according to God’s plan, and who seated Himself at God’s right hand in the heavenlies, also according to God’s plan.
So the purpose of the blog at its inception was to encourage those women through this study on Hebrews.
At the conclusion yesterday, they had the opportunity to share what God had taught them through the study. Here are some of the things they said:
  • God will never leave me nor forsake me
  • I can never lose my salvation
  • God is the same yesterday, today, and forever
  • Jesus is worth following
  • I need to love others better because it reflects my love for Him
  • Serve others and share with those in need
  • Press on toward the prize
  • Fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith
  • Praise Him even in the tough times
  • Reach the lost for Jesus
  • Follow godly leaders who teach the Word and live it
  • Signs of evidence of salvation
  • I belong to an unshakeable kingdom that is eternal, this earth is not my home
  • Lay aside the encumbrances while running this marathon of Christian life
  • This life is not a sprint, but a marathon
  • Draw near to the throne of grace with boldness because of what Jesus has done to atone for my sins
  • Jesus lives to intercede as my faithful High Priest
  • God will provide
  • Be content with my spouse
  • Be content with what God has given me in the way of home and family
  • Holding fast to my confession is evidence of my salvation
One student, an 80-year-old children’s Sunday School teacher, shared with me that this had been the first time she had ever learned to study the Bible inductively. She said it had been challenging. She is a recent widow, living on a fixed income, has a friend drive her to Bible study and has a son in prison. She said that this study had helped her so much to understand God and this life He had called her to from the beginning of time. She said that Lord willing, she’d be back in the fall and wanted to take anything I was willing to teach.
She is the poster child, in my head, for why it is NEVER too late to learn how to study the Bible.
I am going to miss these ladies as we have taken a break this summer. They have been my Thursday morning and lunch crew for months. They are my sisters in Christ and have been such encouragers to me.
We talked about how they could continue to fix their eyes on Jesus during the summer. Some are a bit nervous of how to keep staying in the Word without that weekly accountability. So we tossed about a few suggestions for them to consider, structured and not.
After our lesson time, we celebrated with a box lunch complete with a wonderful salad that Sandra Burns brought. Then we had a sweet ending to the meal with Karen Herndon’s brownies and a cake. I recruited one of the gals, Jan Myers, to decorate the place with some bright and girlish table cloths and flowers as centerpieces. It was sweet to hear the ladies appreciative oohs and aahs as they came in to the room. They make me smile as I think about them again this morning.
At the end of today’s post is Sandra’s salad recipe. It was gooooooooood! Say it with five syllables so you’ll know just how good I think it was.
What are my plans for the summer? Well, that’s a topic for another day.
Like I always get when a study ends, I am a bit blue and already homesick for my Bible buddies. So, today, my plan is to enjoy being still for a bit and listening to God speak to my heart a word of exhortation.
SDG <><>

Two-Bean and Rice Salad – Sandra Burns

3 cups cold cooked rice (1 cup uncooked rice)

1 (15-oz) can pinto beans (rinsed and drained)

1 (15-oz) can black beans (rinsed and drained)

1 (l0-oz) pkg. frozen peas, thawed

1 cup sliced celery

1 medium red onion chopped (1/2 cup)

2 (4-oz) cans diced green chili peppers, drained

¼ cup snipped cilantro or parsley

1 recipe Garlic Dressing or one 8-oz. jar Italian Salad Dressing (I use fat-free)

1. In a 2 ½ quart covered container combine cooked rice, pinto beans, black beans, peas, celery, onion, diced green chili peppers, and the ¼ cup cilantro or parsley.

2. Add the dressing to the rice mixture, and stir gently to mix. Cover and chill for up to 24 hours.

3. To serve transfer the chilled salad to a serving bowl.

Garlic Dressing: In a screw-top jar, combine 1/3 cup white wine vinegar, ¼ cup olive oil or salad oil, 2 tablespoons water, ¾ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper. Cover and shake well to mix. Makes about 2/3 cup. (150 calories).

Serves 16

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