Monday, August 20, 2007

Hebrews 12 1-13 from the message paraphrase

Lunch time is upon me and as I sit here and meditate on Hebrews 12, I re-read it using the message paraphrase and here is what it says...

 

Hebrews 12 (The Message)

Discipline in a Long-Distance Race (highlighted by me for point purposes)

 1-3Do you see what this means-all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running-and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed-that exhilarating finish in and with God-he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

 4-11In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through-all that bloodshed! So don't feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children?

   My dear child, don't shrug off God's discipline,
      but don't be crushed by it either.
   It's the child he loves that he disciplines;
      the child he embraces, he also corrects.
God is educating you; that's why you must never drop out. He's treating you as dear children. This trouble you're in isn't punishment; it's training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God's training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God's holy best. At the time, discipline isn't much fun. It always feels like it's going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it's the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.

 12-13So don't sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!

 

So easy to forget just how much God loves us, and that we break his heart every time we do something that is selfish, hurtful to others, or just plain done without much thought as to how it would affect us or others.

Yet God loves us anyway and forgives us and wants us to allow Him to change us into a likeness more like Christ.

 

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