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Day 5 - Walking in His Way

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Hebrews 12:4-13 (NIV)

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 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, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.

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! 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. 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.

Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

Reflection:

When we think about the greatest athletes of our time, Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Roger Federer, Lionel Messi, etc., we recognize them as highly disciplined individuals. Of course the word “discipline” here is not referring to punishment, but rather the numerous years of physical training, mental instructions, and conditioning needed to hone their skills to become the best in their respective sports. And because this rigorous training process involves not only much effort but also much pain, many athletes have motivated themselves with the phrase “no pain, no gain.”

In similar fashion the writer of this epistle is convinced that his readers’ future solidarity in faith is going to depend upon the Lord’s training and molding of our character. He encourages us with the following phrase: “God disciplines us for our good, in order 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. God’s motivation for this discipline is His love for us—His fatherly love. He wants to see His children walking on the Way of Holiness, being shaped into His image, and having abundant fruitful lives.

As we are being disciplined and shaped by our God, this passage ends with an encouragement from Isaiah 35 to “strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.” God desires to strengthen us and heal us every step of the way during this maturation process so that we may be able to walk on His Way of Holiness.

Responding to the message:

Spend some time in prayer thanking God for His fatherly love and discipline. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s empowering for healing over specific issues in your life and for His strength, as you are being molded and shaped for His purposes. Let’s look forward to the time when we will one day share in His holiness and reap from the harvest of righteousness and peace!

Day 4 - Fixing Our Eyes on the Unseen

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Day 3 - Eternal Destiny

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Day 2 - Way of Holiness

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Day 1 - From Streams to Desolation

Monday, October 1st, 2012