DISCIPLESHIP REQUIRES DISCIPLINE

Heb. 12: 1-13
DISCIPLINE
“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.” [1]
“Therefore…. . In consideration of the previous list of faithful followers, who testify to the power of faith and to God’s faithfulness we are called to put aside all that would hinder our faith. Just as each participant in a competition contemplates the prize and perseveres to the end, we too should do the same as we contemplate “who” or what our prize will be. [2] “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus….consider Him” [3] since our faith had its beginning in Him and will be completed in Him and His example to us was to endure (persevere) the difficulties that led Him to the cross and His death upon the cross. [4] He received His reward by completing His task and now sits at the right hand of His Father in the heavenly sanctuary, we are to contemplate Him in His endurance of such opposition from sinful and evil men, and in so doing we will be strengthened in our perseverance. [5]
“In your struggle against sin…”[6] – do not forget the word of encouragement addressing us as “sons” – the writer quotes from Prov. 3:11-12.  God disciplines us as His beloved children, as does every loving human parent, and God’s discipline should not be taken lightly – it should encourage us.
“Endure hardship as discipline”. [7] God disciplines us through our difficulties and hardships as we serve Him, so in the same way that we submit to the discipline of our human father, we are to submit to our heavenly Father’s discipline.  God disciplines us for our good that we may share in His holiness….it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace…”[7]. God’s discipline prepares us for His holy presence, and produces in us the righteousness and peace that we need to honour Him in our lives of service
“Therefore….’Make level paths for your feet’” [8], God’s discipline in our lives produces the conduct that will help, rather than hinder those that are weaker in the faith [9].
Discipline is necessary in every area of our life, whether at home, at our places of business, and even in our leisure time; so it is necessary in God’s family, and as His children we should welcome His discipline. Discipline holds us accountable to God, ourselves and to others.
Scripture References: [1] Heb. 12:1; [2] Acts 20:24; 1Cor. 9:24-26; Gal. 5:7; 2 Tim. 4:7-8; [3] Heb. 12:2-3; [4] Phil. 3:13-14;  Heb. 2:10; [5] Isa.53:10-12; Phil. 2:8-9; Heb. 11:26; Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 4:17; 1Pet. 4:13; [6] Heb.12:4; [7] Heb. 12:10-11; [8] Heb. 12:12-13; [9] Prov.4:26-27; Rom. 14:13, 19-20; 1 Cor. 10:23-24.

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