Archive for January 16th, 2018

Hebrews 12

Hebrews 12 has the author continuing to talk about faith.  He begins the chapter with the word “therefore” which always should be a clue that we need to remember why it is there for.  He has just given us the list of the faith hall of fame and recalled the great people of scripture who have lived out an amazing journey of faith.  “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,  who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God”.

Jesus is our ultimate example.  God’s given us many examples in the Bible of people who have lived a life filled with faith.  Our choices are not always between right and wrong, but between something that may hinder us and something else that may not.  Sin can certainly derail our walk with Christ, but often it is the choice between good and best.  We let good things keep us from doing the best things with our time.  We need to stay the course and continue to train for and run the race, following the example of Jesus who did exactly that.  He chose God’s plan, even if it wasn’t the easy way.

“Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood”.  Life isn’t easy.  We are under constant attack and pressure to make poor choices and rebel against God’s will and ways.  But our struggle is nothing like what Jesus faced.  We haven’t dealt with the pain and suffering martyrs endure.  We merely need to resist sin and walk in obedience with Christ.  God has our best interest at heart.  “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives”.  He is going to work to keep us on course.

Discipline is never fun, but “he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness”.  That is God’s plan for every one of us as Christ Followers – to help us become like Jesus – holy and righteous in His sight.  “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it”.  We may go through seasons of life where God works to bring us into alignment with His will.  Those will not be pleasant, but are so important.  “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no  “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal”.  Life is a high stakes game that impacts eternity.  We need to remember that God’s desire is for us to experience His grace and mercy and be prepared to spend eternity with Him.  That means living His way, not ours.

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