Summary of passage: Since we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses (the faithful mentioned in Chapter 11) let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who endured the cross and its shame so that we may not grow weary and lose heart.
In your struggle, you have forgotten the encouraging words that the Lord disciplines those He loves and accepts as children. We must endure hardship since God is treating us as His children just like we were disciplined by our parents. For God disciplines us for our good that we may share in His holiness. Albeit discipline is painful, it will produce a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who endure.
Make every effort to live in peace with all men and be holy for without holiness we cannot see God. Make sure no one misses the grace of God and no bitter root grows. Make sure no one is sexually immoral or godless.
You have no come to the mountain that is burning with fire, darkness and gloom or heard a voice that was so great it begged no further words be spoken. Instead, you have come to Mount Zion to the living God, the judge of all men and to Jesus whose blood provided us salvation.
Do not refuse God who is granting us a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Instead, be grateful and worshipful of the Lord.
9a) Everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles
b) With perseverance
c) On Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who’s in the lead
10a) God disciplines out of love for us and for our good so that we may share in his holiness. Discipline produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
b) Strengthen your body and make level the path you transgress. Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. See that no one is sexually immoral and godless.
c) Personal Question. My answer: My friends and family. Strangers whom I come in contact with.
11) Personal Question. My answer: The voice would be most fearsome to me. Being with God and Jesus would be the most glorious.
12) Do not refuse or reject God. Be thankful and worship God with reverence and awe.
13a) Personal Question. My answer: Everything. Everywhere you turn there is violence. The economy is in shambles. People are killing their kids and themselves. Despair and the Devil are everywhere.
In my personal world it is clearing out all the negativity and those around me who only are negative so I can be whom I’m called to be.
b) Personal Question. My answer: By not ignoring God when He speaks. My following His will for my life and not my own. By being grateful and full of praise and worship for God. By spreading the Good News at every opportunity.
Conclusions: I love the reminder that God disciplines out of love (as we do our children). Sometimes when life seems like it can’t get any worse we tend to blame God and ask, “Why?” Here’s our answer: “God disciplines for our good, that we may share in his holiness.” I can’t think of a better reason, can you?
Short answers today which I think indicates straight-forwardness in God’s word. There’s not much interpretation here. We are given reasons and answers. Great stuff!