< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Hebrews 12 Part 2

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hebrews 12 Part 2

Hebrews 12:3-4 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
We need to realize that walking with God doesn’t guarantee we will be free from opposition. Otherwise we will become discouraged. Suffering does help us mature as Christians.

Where it says they “haven’t resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” The author’s readers were living in a time of persecution, but they were reading his words. They were alive. They hadn’t yet died for their faith like Christ and other saints and martyrs. And he was telling them to not give up. It cost other people their lives and a thing which cost so much cannot be taken lightly. A tradition like that is not a tradition a man can let down. We should show ourselves worthy of the sacrifices that men and God made for us.

Hebrews 12:5-11 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 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 our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 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.

Does God discipline us? Well, it says right here in the Bible He does! The first part of this section is a quote from Proverbs 3:11-12. As parents do we show our love of our children by letting them run wild?

Even if it hurts us to let them bear the consequences of some action; we know we have to so they can grow. So they can become mature, stronger, better people; able to not only get along better in life, but to have compassion and wisdom for other people. All of these things come out of a good suffering!

This verse says God disciplines us so we may share in His holiness. And admits with us that disciple isn’t pleasant and we may respond to it in several ways:

1. We can accept it with resignation
2. We can accept it with self-pity (thinking we don’t deserve it.)
3. We can get angry with God or resentful
4. We can accept it gratefully – knowing it shows that God loves us like a Father and He is growing us.

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