Vs. 2, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Question: Why do we fix our eyes on Jesus? Because, He endured the cross…endured the shame…and Jesus is now victorious! It’s almost as if the author is speaking directly to us….there is so much passion in the exhortations! When we are tempted to give up…what a wonderful passage to turn to for inspiration! Be ready to be shaken out of your reverie (Vs. 26)…God is shaking things up! None of us like things shaken up…we like stability, we like security…but God would indeed shake up Israel. They would lose their city, their temple…many of their lives.
Regarding application…God Disciplines Us. Vs. 11, “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.” Suffering is not punishment. God allows suffering and often disciplines us through suffering….Why? So that we may produce good fruit! Punishment is the work of a judge…disipline is the work of a loving parent to their child. Punishment is to uphold the law…discipline is a proof of God’s love. Rather than rebel from God in suffering, we should draw ever closer for His comfort.
Question: Why is this happening to me? If we respect those who discipline us in this world (Parents, Coaches, Teachers, etc.)…than we need to respect God and stop complaining and throwing “Pity Parties” for ourselves when times get tough. We talked last Sunday about growing up. If Isaac rebelled against Abraham…we wouldn’t even have the preview of Abraham’s possible sacrifice. If Jesus rebelled against God…we probably wouldn’t even be here. As teenagers we adopt the philosophy of the world when we say it is okay to rebel…that’s what teenagers do. Okay…while that may be true…is that what children of God do? I think not. Whether we are 5 years old, 15 years old, or 55 years old…we all have the tendency to want to rebel (it’s our sin nature)…but let us learn to submit to God’s love & discipline so that we can truly live a life that is honoring to God. Don’t forget that the last verse in this chapter reminds us that God is aConsuming Fire (Vs. 29). We need to have a Godly Fear.