Main text Hebrews chapter 12 verse 1 to 17.
Hebrews 12 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
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 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Himendured 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 and lose heart.
A Father’s Discipline 4 You have not yet resisted 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 his father 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 earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of 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, 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 willsee the Lord. 15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that noroot of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; 16 thatthere 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.
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The main point./. Keep on enduring right to the Very end! Christ is the perfecter of your faith!
I am tired! I don't know about you but,…Sometimes I feel like giving up,
When I look around and I listen to the news and I see The terrible things that we human beings do to each other, say to each other, how we treat each other in this world.
Then I tell myself, well they don't have God in their life, they don't know what they're doing...
Then I look at christians,
For we are so being influenced by this world! Every day we give up more and more ground so to speak,
What I mean is all the work that has been done by men and women of faith Since before the beginning of the church.
All the things that we hold dear, by men and women who sacrificed for the Gospel for the truth, and for Christ! Are now being cast aside.
it seems every week we hear of the "church" in the news And how it now accepts or even embraces the culture of this world.
I will be the first to admit that sometimes christians speak out against such things not from a position of love but rather of hate, and that ought not to be.… we as followers of Christ must be "tolerant" Just a thought or an observation about this whole issue.And it comes down to the word "Tolerance"
The proper use of the word tolerance, or how it used to be used Is,,, you have a point of view, and I have a point of view,,, but we disagree...Well if we are "tolerant" then I will respect yours, and you will respect mine.
But now that seems not to be the case. Now people think of the word "tolerance" as "acceptance"...
In other words, you have a point of view, based on your belief system ,your sense of right and wrong, but I don't agree with it, because my faith system, my guide for what is wright and wrong is in direct opposition to yours.
Therefore Then, "I am intolerant" according to this logic. Or vice versa. That is ridiculous...
I beg your forgiveness my point is not to give a rant, but rather to lay out what it is that we Christians,are up against and what we must do or how we must respond in this present age, and that is this.…
Always and only in love. Easier said then done… And if you are not able to respond in love to the questions of today what ever they are., I hold fast to what the Scriptures teach and proclaim, my conscience won't allow me to water down The word of God.
We do need great wisdom and how to reach a culture that is blinded and even the hostile to the truth. Never has anything been gained by arguing but I must confess I love to argue at times.
And at times I just don't know what to say to people. I'm sure you feel the same, but I do know what the Scriptures teach. And if we are to win anybody for Christ,, it will take much time, and if God is willing and we are patient we will see some come to Christ!
Never give up, keep up the good fight, when you fall down get up, when you are tested, endure it. Keep on loving your neighbour, keep on loving your enemies. Pray for them, It's not over yet, the race is not done.
The author and finisher of your faith is with you ,He will never leave you, He Will never forsake you. He will finish what He has started In you. He is able and with him you can do it!
Ah but you say, I am weak ,I am tired!
Well we have need of perseverance don't we,we need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.
Let's look at the text, Hebrews chapter 12 vs 1-17.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every encumbrance and sin which so easily in tangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith who for the joy set
before him enjoy the cross despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God,for consider him who has endured such hostility by sinners against himself so that we will not grow weary and lose heart.
Vs.4' you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin. 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 reprove by him, for those whom the Lord loves he disciplines, and he scourges every son whom he receives.
It is for discipline that you endure, God deals with you as with sons, for what son is there whom the father does not discipline?
Vs 8' but if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them, shall we not much rather be subject to the father of spirits and live? For They
disciplined us for short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness.
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful, yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwords it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness,. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak in the knees that are feeble, 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.
Notice,,,,,Vs 14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord, see to it that no one come short of the grace of God, that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by many be defiled.
Hebrews 11 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Triumphs of Faith
11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old gained approval.
3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. 4 By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; 10 for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore there was born even of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants as the stars of heaven in number, and innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.
13 All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. 15 And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; 18 it was he to whom it was said, “In Isaac your descendants shall be called.” 19 He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type. 20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even regarding things to come. 21 By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the exodus of the sons of Israel, and gave orders concerning his bones.
23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them. 29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were ]drowned.
30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.
32 And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; 36 and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 38 (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.
39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.
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Notice that chapter 12 begin with the word "therefore" so let's see what it's there for. Chapter 11 is the famous chapter of all the men and women of faith,we all know it well. Men and women like Abel ,Enoch ,Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Rahab. And Gideon and Barack and Samson an Jephthah ,David and Samuel etc. etc.
vs 33. Who by faith Concurred kingdoms, perform acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of Lions, quench the power of fire, escape the edge of the sword, from weakness for made strong, my mighty and war, put foreign enemies to flight.
Vs 35' Women receive back there dead by resurrection, and others were tortured, not excepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection. And others experienced markings and scorching, yes, also chains and imprisonment.
They were stoned, they were sawn in two. they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword, they went about in sheepskins, and goatskins, being destitute , afflicted and ill treated.
Vs 38' men and women of whom the world was not worthy, wandering in the desert and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.
And all these, having gained approval through their faith did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.......
In other words in God's perfect timing we all get our rewards at the same time, adamant Eve Abraham and Isaac and us and our children and grandchildren, that's an incredible thought.
The Scriptures I have been reading have a lot in them. but the point that I want to drive home after all that has been said and done, it to May be found just a little further back in the book of Hebrews it is in chapter 10. now let's let these words speak for themselves Hebrews chapter 10 verse 23, to 25/// notice the commands...
A New and Living Way19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us throughthe veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, forHe who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
Christ or Judgment26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a terrifying expectation ofjudgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deservewho has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, 33 partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. 34 For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and acceptedjoyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one. 35 Therefore, do not throw away yourconfidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
37 For yet in a very little while,
He who is coming will come, and will not delay.
38 But My righteous one shall live by faith;
And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.
39 But]we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.
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Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering and, for he who promised is Faithful, and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking
our own assembling together, as is the habit of some. But encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
And chapter 10 verse 35 to 39///
Therefore, do not throw away your confidence which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
Verse 37 quote for yet in a very little while, he was coming will come, and will not delay. But my righteous one shall live by faith and if you shrinks back, my soul.
Verse 39 but we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the persevering of the soul…
So my message for all of us this morning, is this. Never give up, never surrender, don't lose heart! Even though all around you seems as if it's all going to pot, especially if you're tired and weary.
Why? Why do you ask, because it will be worth it all,so pray to God now, tell him how you feel.
And ask him who is able to give you strength for today, remember he too was tested in every way more than we can ever imagine, and he is Lord of lords and King of Kings.
Should it be that we who are his servants should endure less than our master, thank God, most of us do suffer less, thank God for his promise that he will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able, thank God we live in such a blessed country at least for now The good news is you can do it, believe it,hold fast.
And help those Who are struggling along the way, give courage to those who are lacking, This is how we love one another, this is how we love God, pretty simple yet so hard because we are weak.
That is what the Christian faith is all about, drawing on Almighty. Hallelujah amen
We have the Lord Jesus Christ, may He be praised..
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