Monday, March 22, 2010

Hebrews 12

Verses 1-3:
"...let us throw off everything that hinders
and the sin that so easily entangles,
and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith,
who for the joy set before him endured the cross,
scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men,
that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

It is so easy to get fixed upon all the distractions that our world, and even our technology, offers. But if it is taking us away from focusing on God, we need to seriously reconsider our use of it, or putting a cap on it. Jesus suffered so much, and so many of us (myself included) don't even give so much as a second thought some days. He was not deserving of such as death, or any death at all. But he died on the cross, so none of us would have to--so that we can have hope on dreary days when nothing seems to go right.

And then it goes on to talk about how only a loving and true father disciplines his son,
that if he doesn't discipline, the child isn't really his. The end of verse 10b says,
"God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness."

Verse 11-13,
"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.
Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness
and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.
Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled,
but rather healed."

As much as I hated being disciplined as a kid, I am so glad my parents did. Who likes a spoiled brat for a friend? I remember that look that mom and dad would get. Just that look from one of them, and my heart sank. I knew I was in trouble and there was no way out. My excuses wouldn't get anything but more trouble. Disappointment. I hated seeing that in their face. It wasn't a condemnation, just disappointment--at least for the moment. How much more grief should I have when I disappoint the God of the Universe who rescued me from the deep miry pit of my own sins?! He brings me up out of that pit and sets me on sturdy ground. It is time to stand up, tall and proud for what He has done for me. I might need discipline, but it is what I deserve. I will hate it when I get that discipline, but it is good in the long run. Thank you God, for the pain that transforms to peace.

Verses 14-16:
"Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy;
without holiness no one will see the Lord.
See to it that no one misses the grace of God
and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau,
who for a singe meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son."

Verses 28-29:
"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken,
let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably
with reverence and awe, for our 'God is a consuming fire.'"

I am loving the book of Hebrews! It always amazes me at how things seem to pop off the page and seem like they were meant JUST for me. Even if I had read them before. God is so amazing. I am so privileged to get the opportunity to serve and praise Him.
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