In It To Win It!
In the Olympics we see runner who run for a price and that price is a medal. But all the runners run for the gold medal which is the best medal. In the spiritual life there is race in which the medal is not earthly that can corrode but something that is made to last forever. Ready. Set. Go!
Jesus, the Example
12 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 [a]fixing our eyes on Jesus, the [b]author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary [c]and lose heart.
A Father’s Discipline
4 You have not yet resisted [d]to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; 5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
6 For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
And He scourges every son whom He receives.”
7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom hisfather does not discipline? 8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we had [e]earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of [f]spirits, and live?10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good,so that we may share His holiness. 11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
12 Therefore, [g]strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.
14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; 16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.
Contrast of Sinai and Zion
18 For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, 19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them. 20 For they could not bear the command, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it will be stoned.” 21 And so terrible was the sight,that Moses said, “I am full of fear and trembling.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of [h]angels, 23 to the general assembly andchurch of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits ofthe righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.
The Unshaken Kingdom
25 See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, [i]much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. 26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.” 27 This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us [j]show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is a consuming fire.
There is a price at the end of mostly everything we do. In the spiritual life there is also a price but just like the Olympians run for the gold price they have to endure years of discipline and struggle and pain but in the end they get the gold price. We must also go through discipline pain and struggles to reach to Jesus the pain and discipline is temporary but eternal life with God is forever. The race is worth it. We must go through life with our eyes on Jesus at all times. If we think we no longer can endure this pain or struggle just look to Jesus because He will strengthen you. I just love the promise that is in this chapter in verse 6 because we might we will receive” whippings” in life but if we hold on to Jesus, He will receive us. It gives me hope. The pain in the world is temporary but when we go to heaven when Jesus comes back we will live in perfect peace with no more pain no more sorrow but we will live eternally with Him who is perfect. So brother and sister let us endure this race that we may win not an earthly crown but a heavenly crown.
God bless and Happy Sabbath
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.