Hebrews 12 – Run

Hebrews 12:1-2 -“run with endurance the race that is set before us” I want to run my own race, not the race that God set before me. I want to follow my own desires, my own priorities, my own plans, not God’s. I rebel against His ways, telling myself I don’t have time or that I have pressing priorities. Verse 2 has the key: “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith“. Jesus endured for the joy set before him for our sake. If my focus is on Him, running the race should not be burdensome. It only becomes so when my focus is on me.
Hebrews 12:11 – I long for “the peaceful fruit of righteousness” that comes from discipline from the Lord. But, to receive it I have to allow myself to be trained by His discipline.
Hebrews 12:18-24 – Interesting contrast here. The author contrasts the mountain of the Lord in Moses’ day where no one was allowed to approach. It was an Earthly place where God dwelt, but because of His holiness and our unholiness, no one was to come near. It’s a vision of power and fear. But, he says we have instead come to God’s actual citry, the heavenly Jerusalem. One would assume that if the Earthly copy was unapproachable, the true city in heaven would be even more so. But no, we, “the righteous made perfect”, are welcome and are the assembly.
Because of Jesus’ blood, we are welcome in God’s house where the people before weren’t even welcome in a replica of God’s house.
Hebrews 12:25-29 – It’s tempting to view my relationship with God as buddies. It is true that through Jesus I have the kind of relationship that the Jews of old could only dream of, yet I must remember, He is still God, not simply a mentor or coach or trainer. My relationship with him, though intimate and personal, must be one first of submission, reverence and awe. God does not suffer fools.

Hebrews 11 – Faith

Hebrews 11:1-3 – Notice that it does not say that the universe was created by God out of nothing, but that “what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” But still, the fact that God made it at his word is something we take on faith, not on reason or empirical evidence.
Hebrews 11:4-31 The interesting thing about these faith heroes is that each of them took their faith and acted on it. In many cases, their faith is manifested in obedience to direct commands or instructions. Not an original observation I suppose, but my tendency, and I suspect many others’, is to equate faith with emotion or belief or something internal or intellectual. It must be more if it is to be real.
Hebrews 11:13 – “These all died in faith“. Certainly, the did not start their faith journey thinking they would not see what had been promised, but at some point it must have become clear that God wasn’t going to deliver the promise in their lifetime. Yet, they did not waver in their faith. Why not? Because faith delivers along the way to the ultimate promise. For Christians, that ultimate promise is heaven, but along the way, a life of faith delivers rewards unforeseen at the start that propel us onward.
Hebrews 11:13-16 – People of faith are looking forward, to the future promises, while living in the presence. For followers of God, our present actions are informed and influenced by looking forward, in faith.
Henrews 11:26 – Faith alters our worldview, redefines riches, winning and losing.

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