God’s Word of Faith
Hebrews 12:1-11: Today’s reading teaches that we are surrounded by faithful witnesses from the past and present. This “large crowd” is like a hometown crowd cheering us on as we run the race of faith. The reading concludes by affirming God’s treatment of us as his children.
God Our Father
1As for us, we have this large crowd of witnesses around us. So then, let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin which holds on to us so tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us. 2Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right side of God’s throne.
3Think of what he went through; how he put up with so much hatred from sinners! So do not let yourselves become discouraged and give up. 4For in your struggle against sin you have not yet had to resist to the point of being killed. 5 Have you forgotten the encouraging words which God speaks to you as his children?
“My child, pay attention when the Lord corrects you,
and do not be discouraged when he rebukes you.
6Because the Lord corrects everyone he loves,
and punishes everyone he accepts as a child.”
7Endure what you suffer as being a father’s punishment; your suffering shows that God is treating you as his children. Was there ever a child who was not punished by his father? 8If you are not punished, as all his children are, it means you are not real children, but bastards. 9In the case of our human fathers, they punished us and we respected them. How much more, then, should we submit to our spiritual Father and live! 10Our human fathers punished us for a short time, as it seemed right to them; but God does it for our own good, so that we may share his holiness. 11When we are punished, it seems to us at the time something to make us sad, not glad. Later, however, those who have been disciplined by such punishment reap the peaceful reward of a righteous life.
Today’s Key Verse: Hebrews 12:2a
Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end.
In verses 7-11, the relationship between God and people is described as that of a father and child. How is earthly punishment or discipline compared to what God does? What are your thoughts regarding the Lord correcting everyone he loves (verse 6)? What is the purpose of correction or discipline?
Lord Jesus, keep my eyes fixed on you. My faith is dependent on you. You died on a cross and are now seated at the right side of God’s throne. I thank and praise you for your sacrificial love. Amen.
Hebrews 12:12-29: Instructions and warnings are given about living as people of God.