Lord, help me to throw off everything that hinders as I come into Your presence today. May I fix my eyes on You.
Read: HEBREWS 12:1–13
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
God Disciplines His Children
4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
Reflect: DO YOU FEEL CONVICTED OR TOO ASHAMED TO APPROACH GOD? COME TO GOD NOW, CONFIDENT OF MEETING LOVE FACE TO FACE.
It was a “eureka” moment. I had been feeling terribly low: steeped in shame for how I’d let God down, regretting foolish choices and chasing self-centered goals. I believed God’s promise of forgiveness… but my knees were weak.
It was this passage that cut through my mild spiritual depression in an instant. “Do not lose heart, Anne. God LOVES you! That’s why he is disciplining you. It’s for your absolute good.” God neither wants us to treat sin flippantly, nor to drown in condemnation. He wants us to share in his holiness. In other words, God wants us to experience a kingdom-orientated life, which is distinguished from worldly values; one that nurtures peace, purpose, contentment, well-being, satisfaction and fruitfulness (see John 10:10).
Our heavenly Father is not vindictive. He truly wants what is best for us. Discipline may be painful, but in time its effective purpose becomes clear. Consider yourself in the light of Jesus. Where are you lax in your resolve? What habits or pursuits do you need to break?
Is there a situation in which God is disciplining you? What would it look like to accept discipline with grace today?
“Search me, God, and know my heart… See if there is any offensive way in me” (Psa. 139:23,24).
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