The Talk Place
Blogs with inside information and personal opinions from GRN members around the world
Christine Platt - Friday 31 July 2020
Yesterday in our weekly extended prayer time, I was given Hebrews 12. It is an amazing chapter! In equal parts it helps us make sense of life’s trials and how to face them, warns us of the dire consequences of giving up, and encourages us to keep on going.
I encourage you to spend some time reading it. I really couldn’t do it justice yesterday, in even reading and digesting its contents, let alone passing it on.
Hebrew 12:1-3 Run the race with your eyes on Jesus
We are running a race… something like an ultra marathon (e.g. running from Sydney to Melbourne).
There is a great crowd watching and cheering us on.
We are called to throw off everything that hinders (your backpack full of stuff, your heavy clothes and boots) and the sin that so easily entangles (makes it hard for you to run).
We are called to run the race marked out for us with perseverance.
What motivates us to keep running? We keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, Jesus endured the cross, scorned its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God as a consequence. Consider Jesus, who endured such opposition from sinners, so you wont grow weary and lose heart!
Hebrews 12:4-11 God disciplines his children
The author then says that God is disciplining us because we are his children. Discipline is unpleasant at the time, but it proves that we really are God’s children and it leads to us becoming holy.
And so we are called to submit to God’s discipline (and so God himself, the Father of spirits) and live! Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children.
We then go back to the race, as injured runners. Strengthen our feeble arms and weak knees. Make the path level, so that the lame might be healed and not disabled.
Hebrews 12:14-17 Warning and Encouragement
Make every effort to live at peace with everyone and be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord!
See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God.
See to it that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defiles many.
See that no one is sexually immoral
See that no one is godless like Esau. After selling his birthrite for a meal he didn’t get a second chance. So, be careful and watch yourself!
Hebrews 12:18-29 Mountain of fear and Mountain of Joy
We have not come to the mountain Moses climbed, which was terrifying to all who were present.
We have come to Mt Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.
We have come to innumerable angels in joyful assembly.
We have come to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven.
We have come to God, the judge of all.
We have come to the spirits of the righteous made perfect.
We have come to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant.
We have come to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than Abel.
Do not refuse him who speaks!
If they didn’t escape when they refused him who warned from heaven then ... we will not escape if we turn away from him who warns from heaven!
Back then his voice shook heaven and earth ... Now he has promised “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens”
And what can be shaken will be removed! Created things will be removed.
What cannot be shaken will remain.
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.”
Let me encourage you to consider Jesus Christ who ran the race successfully and well. Consider Mt Zion, where we are heading – the joy that is set before us! Let us keep on running the race marked out for us, persevering through the trials, seeking holiness, being thankful and worshipping God with reverence and awe.
To give up would be disastrous. If you feel that you are slipping, becoming lame and disabled, please turn to your Bible, ask for help (God or a godly counsellor) but please do not stop or give up on the race or your pursuit of holiness (effectively the same thing). Do not turn away from God.
That great cloud of witnesses is watching you run and cheering you on. Our heavenly Father is disciplining you for your own good. The prize at the end is worth the effort! Keep on running, or walking if you must, or even fixing up the path so you can continue. But whatever you do, keep on going.