Today’s Bible reading is Genesis 26 and Hebrews 12.
In Hebrews 12, disciples of Jesus are being encouraged to follow in the footsteps of men and women who have walked with God “by faith.”
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb 12:1-2)
We all know that “running the race” will take not only endurance, but discipline.
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Heb 12:7-11)
Take the time to mediate on those verses today. What does your heavenly Father want with you and for you? Why is he calling you to lay aside every weight? Why is he commanding you to forsake sin? Why is he encouraging you to personally run the race of faith? Why is he willing to discipline you, and say that it’s for your good?
That we may share his holiness.
Our Father in heaven is perfect in purity and love. He is flawlessly distinct from sin and selfishness. He is willing to share–with me and with you–his holiness.
Is holiness that important? Is it worth the endurance that the race of faith demands? Worth the discipline that can be so painful in the moment?
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. (Heb 12:14)
Therefore, let us run today–unencumbered by sin, laser-focused on the founder and perfecter of our faith.