Further Thought, Friday(1.7)
 Despite all the good and hopeful truths in the book of Hebrews, there is also a series of warnings that reach their climax in chapters 10-12. These sections have at least two common elements. First, they all compare the desert generation with the readers of Hebrews. Second, they exhort us to have faith.

 The desert generation was the one that saw the amazing power of God unleashed in signs and wonders in their deliverance from Egypt. They also heard God speak, from Mount Sinai, the Ten Commandments. They saw the column of fire in the night and the protecting cloud during the day. They ate manna, bread from heaven. They also drank water that sprang from the rocks wherever they camped. But when they arrived at the border of the Promised Land, they were not able to trust God. They lacked faith, which is the core of what God requires. “Without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Heb. 11:6, NKJV).

 Paul says that we, like the desert generation, are also at the border of the Promised Land (Heb. 10:37-39). Our privileges and responsibilities are greater, however. We did not hear God speak at Mount Sinai, but we have seen through Scripture a revelation of God greater than the one at Mount Zion: God in the flesh, Jesus Christ (Heb. 12:18-24). The question is: Will we have faith? The author encourages us to follow the example of a great list of characters, which culminates with Jesus Himself.

Discussion Questions
 1. We have learned that Jesus is our Champion who goes before us into the battle against the devil. How can we fight together, united, as a church behind our Champion? What are those things that prevent this unity from happening? What are ways that Satan can weaken us as a church? How did Satan weaken Israel in the past?
 2. As believers, we are a community of priests under God’s direction. In what ways can your local church offer better sacrifices of praise and good works to God? Please be specific and practical.
 3. In what ways is our situation similar to the situation of the desert generation just before crossing into the Promised Land? What lessons can we learn from the similarities?