Hebrews Chapter Twelve



1. The faith lives of this gallery of heroes are set before us as examples of that kind of faith. We can now throw off the attitude of being weighed down by our problems, and the individual failures and flaws of our human nature. Let us now run the race set before us with a well-timed and measured pace

2. We can keep Jesus in our sights, the one who initiates and completes our faith life. He kept in his sights the joy and happiness   that awaited him as he set himself to persevere the ordeal of the cross. He shrugged off the scorn that people threw at him, and finally took his place at the right hand of the throne of God

3. Just think of that barrage of self-centered and evil attitudes that he had opposing him. Compare this to what you are going through before you decide to give up because it is all too hard.

4. You have not yet had to battle against evil to the extent that your life-blood is drained out of your body.

5. Perhaps you have forgotten the challenge of Scripture which speaks to us as sons and daughters, saying ‘Do not despise the disciplinary training of the Lord, and don’t go to pieces when he corrects you.

6. Because God is showing you his love when he disciplines you and brings painful consequences to bear upon you. He does this to all that he would draw close to his heart.

7. If you go through this training you are being treated like a dear child by God. Aren’t all children trained and disciplined by their fathers?

8. But if you distance yourself from discipline and training then you are acting like an outsider and not as if you are really part of the family.

9. Our natural fathers disciplined us and we showed respect to them, so shouldn’t we rather submit to our spiritual Father and be fully alive to his life.

10. They disciplined us for a few years, mainly to have us fit in with what suited them, but God disciplines us for our own advantage, so that we can develop in some of the virtue we see in his character.

11. No kind of discipline seems like fun and games at the time; it is painful. But when you go through the pain of it you do end up with the gain of it. This kind of spiritual exercise results in your experiencing a peaceful harmony with God and with your own soul.

12. So do the spiritual training for your spiritual hands to carry what you have to, and spiritual training for your spiritual legs so you can go the distance.

13. Choose a good even spiritual track to run on, or you could end up injuring your spiritual muscles instead of strengthening them.

14. Seek to live in harmony with others, and seek to live a life devoted to God, which is your holiness. You won’t see God at work in your life if you are not devoted to him.

15. Be careful not to ignore God’s goodness towards you so that you don’t get crowded out with toxic inner regrets and disappointments. This ruins many people.

16. Don’t get caught up with immorality, or lose sight of spiritual values, like Esau did. He threw away the spiritual treasure he was born to enjoy.

17. Later, when he realized what he had done and wanted the spiritual blessing he was born for, he couldn’t have it anymore because his father couldn’t change his mind and reverse his decision, even though Esau wept and pleaded for another chance.

18. But you haven’t arrived at the physical Mount Sinai that you can reach out and touch, with it’s fire and lightning above and the black storm clouds below,

19. And the trumpet blast, and the booming voice of God that they heard which made them plead not to have to directly hear its sound again. (The voice of Moses would suffice Exodus 20:18)

20. (They could not cope with what they heard. If an animal so much as touched the awesome mountain it became such a holy hazard that it had to be stoned or speared to death.

21. It was such an awesome sight that even Moses said he was shaking from head to toe with fear.)

22. Instead, you have arrived at the spiritual Mount Zion, and the heavenly Jerusalem, the spiritual city of God, where there are multitudes of angels,

23. Where there is gathered the universal church of the saints of the former age, whose names are recorded in heaven. You have come to where God is, the judge of all mankind, and where there also reside the spirits of the saints of this age.

24. This where Jesus is, the person responsible for the New Covenant, and to his shed blood, which has greater things to say than the blood of Abel.

25. So don’t reject what he says from heaven, because if those who rejected what Moses said could not escape the consequences of their rejection, then what chance do we have of escaping the consequences of rejecting God’s voice, who speaks from heaven.

26. God’s voice once shook the earth, but now he is proclaiming that there will be another great shaking, and it will it not only be the earth that is shaken, but the heavens also.

27. And when he says ‘another shaking’ he is referring to the fact that every material thing in the universe that can be shaken will be shaken to pieces and destroyed, and that only the eternal things, which cannot be shaken, will remain.

28. So let us realize that we are part of this eternal Kingdom which cannot be shaken or moved. Let us embrace the gracious goodwill of God towards us, so that we can delight his heart with the utmost of respect and admiration for him.

9. Our God can wipe out the entire universe and everything in it.

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