Out of Focus

There are so many things that happen in life that move our focus from Christ. Some are not severe, such as non-serious illness, busyness, overwork, priorities in life, and other things, but others come at us out of nowhere: family illness, death, loss of job, or broken relationships, to name a few. Whatever the case may be, there are things in life that can, simply, or severely draw us further and further away from Christ, even when we intend to just take a break. No matter what life throws at us, in every circumstance, in every action, we need to make a deliberate and intentional step to make everything we do about Jesus Christ. The reason we lose our way, the reason we seem to be so out of focus is that we tend to pay more and more attention to putting out fires, handling individual circumstances, making ourselves too busy, and, eventually, leaving Jesus out of our priorities. If this has happened to you, and even if it hasn't, stop what you're doing, and make everything about Jesus, cutting the waste of what was never about Him in the first place. If we can give glory to God in fair weather, when the storm comes, we will be focused on the One who can get us through it. If life is out of focus, focus on the One who makes all things new! Hebrews 12 Holman Christian Standard Bible  


The Call to Endurance


1Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnessesa surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with enduranceb the race that lies before us, 2keeping our eyes on Jesus,c the source and perfecterd of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Hime endured a cross and despised the shamef and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.


Fatherly Discipline


3For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, so that you won’t grow weary and lose heart.g 4In struggling against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons:


My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly


or faint when you are reproved by Him,


6for the Lord disciplines the one He loves


and punishes every son He receives.h, i


7Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? 8But if you are without discipline — which allj receivek — then you are illegitimate children and not sons.l 9Furthermore, we had natural fathers discipline us, and we respected them. Shouldn’t we submit even more to the Father of spirits and live?m 10For they disciplined us for a short time based on what seemed good to them, but He does it for our benefit, so that we can share His holiness.n 11No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peaceo and righteousness to those who have been trained by it.p


12Therefore strengthen your tired hands and weakened knees,q 13and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocatedr but healed instead.s


Warning against Rejecting God’s Grace


14Pursue peace with everyone, and holinesst — without it no one will see the Lord.u 15Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and by it, defiling many.v 16And make sure that there isn’t any immoral or irreverentw person like Esau, who sold his birthright in exchange for one meal.x 17For you know that later, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected because he didn’t find any opportunity for repentance, though he sought it with tears.y


18For you have not come to what could be touched, to a blazing fire, to darkness, gloom, and storm, 19to the blast of a trumpet, and the sound of words. (Those who heard it begged that not another word be spoken to them, 20for they could not bear what was commanded: And if even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned!z, aa 21The appearance was so terrifying that Moses said, I am terrified and trembling.ab, ac) 22Instead, you have come to Mount •Zion, to the city of the living God (the heavenly Jerusalem), to myriads of angels in festive gathering,ad 23to the assembly of the firstborn whose names have been writtenae in heaven, to God who is the Judge of all, to the spirits of righteous people made perfect,af 24to Jesus (mediatorag of a new covenantah), and to the sprinkled blood, which says better things than the blood of Abel.ai


25Make sure that you do not reject the One who speaks. For if they did not escape when they rejected Him who warned them on earth, even less will we if we turn away from Him who warns us from heaven.aj 26His voice shook the earth at that time, but now He has promised, Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also heaven.ak, al 27This expression, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what can be shakenam — that is, created things — so that what is not shaken might remain. 28Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us hold on to grace.an By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe,ao 29for our God is a consuming fire.ap


Footnotes:

a. 12:1 Heb 11:2,4-5,39

b. 12:1 1Co 9:24; Heb 10:36

c. 12:2 Or us, looking to Jesus

d. 12:2 Or the founder and completer

e. 12:2 Or who instead of the joy lying before Him ; that is, the joy of heaven

f. 12:2 Lk 24:26; Php 2:8-9; Heb 13:13

g. 12:3 Mt 10:24; Gl 6:9

h. 12:5-6 Jb 5:17; Ps 94:12; Pr 3:11-12; Rv 3:16

i. 12:6 Pr 3:11-12

j. 12:8 = Christians

k. 12:8 Lit discipline, of which all have become participants

l. 12:7-8 Dt 8:5; 1Pt 5:9

m. 12:9 Nm 16:22; Is 38:16

n. 12:10 Lv 11:44; 2Pt 1:4

o. 12:11 Is 32:17; Jms 3:17-18

p. 12:11 1Pt 1:6

q. 12:12 Jb 4:3-4; Is 35:3

r. 12:13 Or so that the lame will not be turned aside

s. 12:13 Pr 4:26; Gl 6:1

t. 12:14 Rm 6:22; 14:19

u. 12:14 Mt 5:8; 2Co 7:1

v. 12:15 2Co 6:1; Gl 5:4; Heb 3:12; 10:39

w. 12:16 1Tm 1:9; 4:7; 6:20; 2Tm 2:16

x. 12:16 Gn 25:33

y. 12:17 Gn 27:34-38

z. 12:18-20 Ex 19:12-13,18; 20:18-21; Dt 4:11; 5:5,25

aa. 12:20 Ex 19:12

ab. 12:21 Dt 9:19

ac. 12:21 Dt 9:19

ad. 12:22 Gl 4:26; Heb 11:10

ae. 12:23 Or registered

af. 12:23 Ps 94:2; Lk 10:20; Php 3:12

ag. 12:24 1Tm 2:5; Heb 7:22; 8:6; 9:15

ah. 12:24 1Co 11:25; 2Co 3:6; Heb 13:20

ai. 12:24 Gn 4:10; Heb 11:4

aj. 12:25 Heb 2:2-4; 8:5; 11:7

ak. 12:26 Ex 19:18; Hg 2:6

al. 12:26 Hg 2:6

am. 12:27 1Co 7:31; 2Pt 3:10

an. 12:28 Or let us give thanks, or let us have grace

ao. 12:28 Dn 2:44; Heb 13:15

ap. 12:29 Dt 4:24; 2Th 1:8


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