Sunday, September 9, 2012

On 9-16-12, Hebrews 12:1-11 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson, herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Faith Empowers Endurance aka Faith is Endurance.

Please notice that this is the commentary on the 9-16-12 lesson which I am posting a bit early.  You will find the message for the 9-9-12 lesson immediately beneath this one or on the right side. 
Blessings, Jed

Faith Empowers Endurance
Faith is Endurance
Hebrews 12:1-11
International Sunday School Lesson
September 16, 2012

Jed Greenough

Let’s look at two scenarios today and see which is the most beneficial to the individual who we shall say is an 18 year old.  It doesn’t matter whether they are male or female.  However you picture that person is fine but let’s give them the name Kelsey as I have seen both sexes with that name.
Kelsey as we said is 18 and just out of high school and is traveling cross country from a home in California to an ultimate destination which would often depend on whether the person you have imagined is male or female.
Each day as they take their time in this trip they spend the night in a different fine hotel, eat out three times a day and visit venues that a person of time and means would when traveling. 
Each day begins the same with the bed linens in a heap, the towels lying on the floor and the cans of soda, a pizza box and chip bags left were they had been last enjoying their contents.
After breakfast Kelsey fills the parent’s car  with gas from the first gas station in sight and not necessarily the cheapest with Mom and Dad’s credit card.
Eventually the trip of leisure ends as they arrive at their destination which is Marine Boot Camp.  Do we need to detail their daily routines going forward as we just did?  How about the basic cleanliness, order and discipline that they will soon be exhibiting?
In the end which of these two separate parts of their life will mean the most or instill in this individual the most?
When we become Christians we haven’t just joined a club and now we are “golden”.  Rather we have joined a family and become coheirs with Christ.  The Father is the same one who sent His only begotten Son to die for us.  The same Father who expected so much of one expects much from everyone who becomes an heir.
Like the recruit who traveled to Basic we should examine the Christian life experiences of ourselves and see if we are going to look back at a life spent on someone else’s dime alone or one where we have become disciplined.
The child to whom much is given should eventually have much expected don’t you think?  If you aren’t exhibiting the things that God expects of His children you can expect that God has been disciplining you and you may have not even realized.  What is going on in your life, what pain have you been experiencing?  Though it is a little hard to understand and not included in today’s scripture verse 12 and 13 will apply to us if we become disciplined as Christians and become holy and produce a harvest of righteousness and peace just as He would have us.

For Discussion:

1.     Discuss in general terms if due to persecution you have used the beginning verses of today’s scripture as encouragement.
2.     In verse one Paul speaks of throwing off everything that hinders and entangles as we pursue living out our lives as we should now as Christians.  The word “everything” speaks for itself.  Discuss this and what those things are especially those things that might not be so obvious.
3.     Discuss how Jesus did just that.
4.     If you think it helpful have individuals give examples where in their Christian efforts they did give up and where they did not.
5.     Though these being spoken to had not suffered “to the point of shedding” their blood, some probably would and many in the future of the church would.  Discuss verse 4 in light of this.
6.     Some good parallel verses for verse 5: Job 5:17, Psalm 94:12, Psalm 119:67, Proverbs 3:11.
7.     Discuss discipline.
8.     Discuss the “harvest of righteousness and peace”.

Upcoming Adult Sunday School Class Commentaries

9-23-12:  Faith Inspires Gratitude Hebrews 12:18-29
9-30-12:  Faith Instills Love aka Faith Requires Mutual Love Hebrews 13:1-3, 6; 1 Corinthians 13 or Hebrews 13:1-3; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
10-7-12:  Stephen Defends His Faith aka Stephen’s Arrest and Speech Acts 6:8-7:2a, 22, 44a, 45b-49 or Acts 6:8-7:2a
10-14-12: Stephen is Faithful to Death aka Stephen’s Martyrdom Acts 7:51-8:1

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

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