Have you ever heard it said that we have a ‘great cloud of witnesses’ observing us? Implying that those who are in heaven are looking down on those of us on earth, observing our every move? This is the type of problem we have when people do not read scripture verse by verse, looking at the context to make sure they have the correct understanding. Today for my own Bible study time, I was in Hebrews 12 for the New Testament portion. It begins “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us…” This is not about heavenly observers. It is about people of faith in the past that we can look to as examples. Dr. MacArthur explains in his commentary:
This is a very crucial transition word offering an emphatic conclusion to the section which began in 10:19. The deceased people of chapter 11 give witness to the value and blessing of living by faith. Motivation for running “the race” is not in the possibility of receiving praise from “observing” heavenly saints. Rather, the runner is inspired by the godly examples those saints set during their lives. The great crowd are not comprised of spectators but rather are ones whose past life of faith encourages others to live that way (11:2, 4, 5, 33, 39).
Learning the proper way to study the Bible is crucial for believers to ensure we are understanding God’s truth. Rachel over at Danielthree18 has been doing a series explaining the ‘how’ of Bible study. If you need help learning how to correctly study and read your Bible, or you don’t know where to begin, I recommend checking out her articles instructing us on how to do this. You can find the most recent installment here.
Debbielynne over at the Outspoken Tulip blog has been doing an excellent Bible study series on the book of Jude. I have really been enjoying Debbilynne’s insight and explanation. You will be glad you took the time to read these articles. This week’s edition can be found here.
My friend Elizabeth Prata wrote an excellent piece The Forgotten Victorian Craze for Collecting Seaweed, and other biblical thoughts on women’s roles. I really enjoyed this essay, and I always enjoy Elizabeth’s perspective. Please take the time to read her article, you’ll learn something new, laugh, and have some things to chew on spiritually.
Tim Challies wrote an excellent piece: Have I Sinned Against You? This has some wonderfully practical steps for us as believers to assess if we have merely been offended, or sinned against. Mr. Challies is a pastor in Canada, and a blogger and book reviewer.
Ligonier Ministries blog had a great post this week Many Hear the Gospel with Joy but Don’t Continue in the Faith. Dr. Sproul gives a clear and succinct explanation of the parable of the sower. I think you will find this as instructive and helpful as I did.
The Expositor’s Blog had a very helpful piece about shepherding the spiritually immature. Although this is primarily written for shepherds, I think there is a lot of great information for all believers to consider and keep in mind when interacting with the brethren. Especially those who are new in the faith.
Finally, this meme was making the rounds on social media this week:
And yet abortion is legal and considered just. Can you say irony alert?!
Lastly, here is a picture of a red-tailed hawk I took in my neighbor’s back yard. Because I like birds. Hope you enjoy your weekend!
Soli Deo Gloria!