Today you should read: Hebrews 12:1-17
The Christian life is not easy. It’s a battle against sin and our own selfishness every day. It requires hard work and discipline to live for Christ and be faithful to Him in this world. Verse 1 of our reading today should be a great encouragement to us because it refers us back to chapter 11 and all the great men and women of faith listed there who struggled to live a life of faith in their day as well. These are the giants of the Christian faith and we are told to emulate their faithfulness to God by battling sin like they did and persevering to the end.
Not only are we to emulate their faith, but most importantly, we emulate Christ. I challenge you to commit verse 2 to memory this week if you haven’t already memorized it. It is essentially the summation of how we will endure in this Christian life to the end: FIX OUR EYES ON JESUS! We are to fix our eyes on Jesus, fix our eyes on the cross, fix our minds on what He endured, and fix our hearts on how much He loves us. Jesus is the author of our faith (where our faith begins) and He is the perfecter of our faith (how our faith grows and endures).
Our faith in Christ leads us to live a life of obedience to Christ. However, in those moments of disobedience our loving Heavenly Father is there to discipline us for our good. We can all relate to how discipline is loving and for our good in our own lives as children or as parents. Good parents don’t just let their children do and act however they want to because their actions may be destructive and harmful to their lives. Because they love them, they discipline them and keep them from the harm that their actions would have led them to. The discipline certainly wasn’t fun for the child to receive, and not even for the parent to dish out, but it was necessary for the good of the child. God disciplines us when we are disobedient because He is a good Father who loves us and desires to produce a harvest of righteousness and peace within us (v.11)
Maybe you are in a season where God is trying to discipline you. In your hardship, realize that God is treating you as His child (v.7). He loves you immensely. So responding to that discipline in the right way is crucial. Instead of being angry and resentful towards God, accept God’s discipline in your life as a blessing from a loving Father who desires to keep you from destruction and make you more like Him.
Posted by: Matt Mofield