Hebrews 12: a treasury for the tested

  1. We see that sin easily entangles (I have the image of the net thrown by a gladiator). I sort of imagine that getting properly entangled takes time and so I will notice it easily. But no. Sin easily entangles. Had we considered that, we might not have so easily got trapped (v1). But the good news is we CAN ‘throw it off.’
  2. We have a great cloud of witnesses willing us on. Our true comfort in human terms does not come from sympathetic listeners, but from the fellowship of brothers and sisters who have passed through such trials.
  3. Fix our eyes on Jesus, as per previous post. We are saved by looking, Numbers 21.
  4. Did you noticed Jesus scorned the shame of the cross. That is he derided it, snubbed it, put it in it’s place. We also must refuse to be shamed. Shaming is a big thing in many cultures and the devil uses it profusely.
  5. God disciplines us, because he loves us. Not because he hates us (v5). An African friend of mind said: ‘Simon in my culture we discipline our children, not because we hate them but because we love them.’ He was appalled at the state of our society and his words hit the mark after a rather unruly youth Bible study!
  6. When we have hardship (v7) we should make ourselves stronger by saying, this could be loving discipline by my Father. It is the mark of being a son (v8).
  7. v10 it is always for our good and to preserve us in the faith.
  8. v11 Don’t be surprised if it feels horrible at the time– there is the guarantee of a harvest of righteousness which comes later. Peace is also promised later. How true this has been in my experience. There is a time promised when this seasonal discomfort will end and the malicious thought that it will ‘never end’ is to be fought.

 

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