Strive to be Holy – Hebrews 12: 1 – 17
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as children—
“My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or lose heart when you are punished by him;
6 for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts.”
7 Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline? 8 If you do not have that discipline in which all children share, then you are illegitimate and not his children. 9 Moreover, we had human parents to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not be even more willing to 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, in order that we may share his holiness. 11 Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.
14 Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and through it many become defiled. 16 See to it that no one becomes like Esau, an immoral and godless person, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17 You know that later, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, even though he sought the blessing with tears.
What is the purpose for us to live in this world as Christians?
We need to remember what our call is. Our call is to live as a follower of Christ.
“2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrew 12:2
Jesus lived in this world for only one purpose; God’s Kingdom. He proclaimed the kingdom and died for the sake of the Kingdom. He committed his life for the Kingdom, and that is the same commitment God is asking for his followers.
Living for the Kingdom requires discipline and perseverance, however, this might be the biggest hindrance of Christians to live in this manner. We live for ourselves instead of God’s Kingdom.
Paul, the author of Hebrews, describes this as giving away the blessings of Esau.
Eugene Peterson calls this the Esau syndrome. “Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God’s lifelong gift to satisfy a short-term appetite. You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God’s blessing—but by then it was too late, tears or no tears.” Hebrews 12: 16-17 the Message
Even though discipline is painful, we need to remember what we are missing out.
Lord, may we continue to live our lives for your kingdom.
Click to subscribe to our Daily Devotion.
You will receive a devotion in your inbox every morning.