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We need to keep our eyes on the prize (Hebrews 12:1-29)Mike Bucher, 02/24/2019
We continue in Hebrews 12. The context of Hebrews is "do not turn back from Jesus and the cross. The writer of Hebrews has just shown us that the key is faith in God and gave many examples of those who have gone before us.
He describes this life as a race. We need to run to win... all out for the Lord. We need to put away sin and anything that gets in the way of following the Lord. If we do not, out of love, God will chasten us - discipline us.
We, then, have a choice. We can submit to Him or ignore or walk away from Him. He gives us a warning. When Moses spoke, they were held accountable. We have something better. No matter how far or bad we fall we can come back to God through Jesus and find God's grace. There is never a reason to continue in sin apart from God. He loves us and made a way to be restored to him. If we walk away from this, He leaves us a serious warning.
Our God is a consuming fire. If we come to Him through Jesus, He treats us as His son. If we stay in rebellion against Him, He will be forced to deal with us. The choice is ours.
Fire is good "if" you are gold (faith). Fire will purify you and make you better. If you are wood (no faith), then fire is bad . It will burn you up.
We are told to hold onto grace... the idea that God's favor is a gift to us through Jesus. We can come to Him as often as we need when we fail. He will help us, forgive us and reveal His love for us. This is the key to finishing the "race" we are in.
We need to keep our eyes on the prize, seeing Jesus face to face and living with Him forever. There is nothing in this world that comes close to knowing Jesus.
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1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. 4Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. 5And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 12Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. 14Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; 16Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. 18For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, 19And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: 20(For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: 21And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) 22But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. 25See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: 26Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29For our God is a consuming fire. (KJV)