Imagine your family had to move into a hotel because something happened to your house. At first, you might think it’s only for a couple of days, but then, you received the news that it was going to take a lot longer to repair your home than what you originally expected. Maybe, during those first few days, you were content to live out of your suitcase. But once you realized that it might be weeks or even months before you can return to your home, you would have to make a decision: are you going to continue to live out of a suitcase, or are you going to ‘unpack your bags.’ What do I mean by unpacking our bags? Unpacking our bags not only refers to what we might do physically with our clothing but also what we do mentally with our emotions. Unpacking our bags emotionally means that we settle down and accept what is happening. This brings us to our second principle for finding certainty during times of uncertainty: WE MUST LEARN TO HUMBLY ACCEPT GOD’S PLAN AND PURPOSE FOR OUR LIFE. Look once again at what the Lord said to His people.
About this time of year many of us are ready to make a change in our wardrobe. Sweaters and sweatshirts look dreary and drab and it’s time for something light and colorful. The same is true spiritually as well.
Ephesians 4:22 … put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. NKJV
In other words, “Don’t continue to wear your winter clothes once it has become spring.” Though it may still be a bit early for us to put away our coats and sweaters, it’s high time for us to put away our spiritual winter clothes. What is this clothing?
Song of Solomon 2:10 My beloved spoke, and said to me: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, And come away. 11 For lo, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. 12 The flowers appear on the earth; The time of singing has come, And the voice of the turtledove Is heard in our land. NKJV
The Song of Solomon is an amazing portion of scripture. Many believe that it has both a physical, as well as a spiritual application.
If you’re like me, you’re probably ready for some spring. I know that there are many who love winter and I hope that you’re having a good time; but as for me and my house – GIVE US THE WARM WEATHER!
Recently Tammy said to me, “We’ve all been experiencing a hard winter and we’re ready for some spring.” I knew that she was referring not only to the weather outside, but to the weather inside as well. It’s time for some sunny days and new life. It’s time for some springtime in our souls. This week I would like to help us find that springtime.
Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
I have never been a great athlete. Though I played a few sports in high-school, I was never the star. But although I am not a great athlete, I do value being in good shape.
One thing I have learned about working out – in order to improve you have to push yourself beyond what is comfortable and convenient. Years ago there was a saying that floated around locker rooms and gyms – “No Pain, No Gain.” That is true, both physically and spiritually.
Hebrews 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
How do you respond whenever difficulty enters into your life? I suppose the most natural reaction for many of us is to become discouraged and maybe even angry. It is because of this human tendency that the writer of Hebrews gives us these words of encouragement-
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” ESV
The book of Hebrews was originally written to people who were suffering. They were suffering, not because they were bad people being punished for their disobedience, but because they were good people being persecuted for their faith. Because they were suffering, some were beginning to question the rationality of walking with God. Perhaps some were even tempted to ask – “What’s the use of trying to do what is right if this is what it’s going to get us?”
No doubt some of us have at times asked a similar question. Warren Wiersbe writes – “Satan wants us to believe that the difficulties of life are proof that God does not love us, but just the opposite is true.” According to today’s passage, the chastening these believers were experiencing was actually proof of God’s love and involvement in their lives.
Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
According to Hebrews 12, spiritual chastening has at least two very important purposes:
The Apostle Paul gives us a very important truth about God’s activity in our lives.
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
God is not pleased to have us go through life, acting like a bunch of spoiled brats. God wants His children to reverence His authority and to reflect His character. The writer of Hebrews tells us this-
Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Life can be very difficult sometimes. Not only are there trials to face, but temptation as well. If we are not careful, we can be drawn away from our faith in God. The purpose of the book of Hebrews is to warn us of these dangers and to encourage us to draw near to our Lord and Savior.
The book of Hebrews is both a letter of encouragement and warning. It is a warning for those who fail to trust in Christ – “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” (Heb 10:38) But it is also an encouragement for those who will trust and remain faithful – “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” (Heb 10:39)