This week's theme
Hebrews: 3 Faith and works
Lord God, may we always show the love that Jesus taught of loving you our God, and loving our neighbour. Amene
For further thought
Pay forward the good deed you have received, and one day someone will pay it forward to you. Such practice demonstrates sharing Gods love.
Consider what is the foundation of your life and that of your family is it culture, money or getting ahead at work? Or is it God?
What non-violent ways can we use to discipline children? How can we serve as role models for them?
To run any race, you must first stand up and move. Do you sometimes procrastinate before the race even begins? Make a difference, starting today.
Whom do you have faith in to get by? Yourself, others or God? Our faith in God helps us and each other through our struggles.
Pray for Christians in places of persecution.
How many in your church are you familiar with? Befriend a new person this Sunday and share a word of encouragement.
What has motivated some of your major life decisions recently?
What do Gods love and hope look like in a hospice ward?
How is the worship life of your church today? Does the language of Hebrews relate to your experience of worship, or not?
How many people have influenced you through the way they lived their life? How many have you influenced through yours?
What do you think about tithing? What do, or can, you give (remembering that giving is not always financial)? Where do you direct your giving?
Do one thing in response to Gods love, such as spending time in prayer, showing love to someone or practising a skill to serve God.
Where do you see abuses of power in leaders? And where do you see unrealistic expectations of leaders? How can you challenge this?
Of course, like Zacchaeus, we sometimes are called to hard work and struggle. How do you allow your faith to equip you for that?
What does it mean to be loyal or faithful to God? What are the characteristics of faithful members of the household of God?
Through this week, look for Gods image in the people you encounter. Remember that even though that image is tarnished, Gods love is perfect.
Look at your diary when and how can you make head and heart space to encounter holiness?
Try the exercise mentioned above. Repeat to yourself, whatever you are doing, I am a beloved child of God.
Bring to mind anyone you know who has experienced heartache in the last year. What tangible action can you take to show that their sadness is not forgotten?
Find something that nature alone has had a part in creating, sit with it and wonder at how beautifully it is made.
What is your unique prayer of exultation right now? Jot down some thoughts, or find words and music from elsewhere, and voice your prayer song aloud.
Bring to mind the movement of water in the sea or swirled around in a bowl. What does it mean to go with the flow?
Find an appropriate activity for this day of waiting perhaps go for a walk.
Write a lament psalm of your own and share it on our Facebook page today.
What messages are encoded in the food and drink we give or receive?
How does gossip manifest itself today, in the age of social media?
Consider writing a letter or email in support of a prisoner of conscience. Go to www.amnesty.org.uk for suggestions.
When have you felt betrayed? How did you manage those emotions?
Share your collage as a focus for prayer with your study group, church or community of concern; and please share a picture of it on our Fresh from the Word Facebook group.
'For many of our readers IBRA notes have become a habit. There are using them for years. The notes cover the Old and New Testaments in a balanced way. The little stories and simple method of exposition are attractive.'
This week's writer
Alesana Fosi Palaamo is a lecturer in Practical Theology at Malua Theological College in Samoa. A minister of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa, his research interests include Christian ministry, youth and social ministries, pastoral theology,
Celebrating 135 years!
Join us in celebrating 135 years of the work of IBRA!
To mark this auspicious occasion we have a special celebration edition available.
Read about our rich history and the origins of our founder Charles Waters, bank manager and Sunday School teacher – not a scholar, preacher, or public speaker – who had a gift for organisation and a vision for making the Bible accessible to all.
Our reading today is Hebrews 12:14-29