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December 11 - Morning

"Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?  If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons." - Hebrews 12:7-8

Simply Consider Hardships as Training


The author of the book of Hebrews writes to his readers concerning their hardships, persecutions and their "struggle against sin" (12:4) in chapter twelve. He does not tell them that these hardships are the result of their sin or bad doctrine. In fact, he gives them no explanation why they are suffering, but he does give them some advice concerning the proper attitude toward hardships. In this case the readers are told to endure all hardships as discipline from God. The Old Testament text he uses to support his advice is Proverbs 3:11-12:
"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." - Proverbs 3:11-12

Even Jesus during his life on earth suffered through the basic trials of life. The author has already said Jesus "learned" (Hebrews 5:8) from these hardships and matured ("made perfect," telios, "made complete") "through what he suffered" (Hebrews 2:10).
The author tells his readers that they are to, "Endure hardships as discipline." The word "discipline" is from the Greek word paideian which refers to raising a child, especially the training, teaching, and education of a child. (Paideian is also used in Ephesians 6:4; 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 12: 5; 12:7-8; 12:11) The word "endure" is hupomone and which means to remain under the pressure patiently and to remain behind when others have fled. The point of this advice is that when there is no explanation for your hardships, consider it training from God who is preparing your soul. When there is no way to avoid your hardship other than to compromise the truth of the Word of God or your compromise your commitment to living in righteousness, then you should continue in the truth and face your hardship because you are being treated by God as sons that he loves and who he is training and preparing for greater things.
Qadash (Hb) Consecrate (Eng) - qadash is the Hebrew verb that means "consecrate," "to set aside," "to make holy." Qadash is used 152 times in the OT which includes being used 25 times in Exodus, 29 times in Leviticus, 20 times in Second Chronicles and 15 times in Ezekiel. God's purpose in the Old Testament was to qadash Israel for his purpose:

" 'Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine,  you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy (qadash)nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” - Exodus 19:5-6
Do I run from God when I face hardships or difficult times? Do I blame God?
Does my attitude isolate me from his power?
I will come to God in hardships to gain comfort and empowerment, but also for correction, training and instruction.



Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

Complete Text

General Text




Personal

Confess sin

Church

Testimony to the Power of God
Private Property
United States of America



The Lions' Gate in Jerusalem's east wall.
Details of the history of the west wall of Jerusalem's Old City.




Someone to Quote

"Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand." - Leo Durocher

Something to Ponder

On July 19, 64 AD fire broke out in Rome and raged for seven days. Ten of the fourteen wards of Rome were destroyed. Since Nero had planned to rebuild Rome and name it after himself before the fire and, then, after the fire Nero seized a large part of the land and built his Golden Palace, the citizens blamed Nero for setting the fire. Nero deflected the accusations from himself to a new religious group called the Christians. Because of this a brief period of persecution broke out in Rome that led to the death of Peter in 64 AD and Paul in 67/68 AD.

Here’s a Fact

An ossuary was found in a tomb in Jerusalem with the Aramaic inscription identifying the person whose bones had been collected in this ossuary, saying, "Simon the Temple Builder" on both sides. This man helped build Herod's temple and would have been a priest who wanted to be remembered as one of those who helped construct the second temple.
(Image here and here.)

Proverb

"He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment." - Proverbs 12:11

Coach’s Corner

When you do not understand, default to doing it God’s way.

Hebrews 5:8
New International Version (NIV)
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered
Hebrews 2:10
New International Version (NIV)
10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.
Acts 15
New International Version (NIV)
The Council at Jerusalem
15 Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question. The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.
Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”
The apostles and elders met to consider this question. After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”
12 The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. 13 When they finished, James spoke up. “Brothers,” he said, “listen to me. 14 Simon has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles. 15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:
16 
“‘After this I will return     and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild,     and I will restore it,
17 
that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,     even all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things’—
18 
    things known from long ago.
19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. 21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”
The Council’s Letter to Gentile Believers
22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, men who were leaders among the believers. 23 With them they sent the following letter:
The apostles and elders, your brothers,
To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia:
Greetings.
24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. 25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.
Farewell.
30 So the men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter. 31 The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message. 32 Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers. 33 After spending some time there, they were sent off by the believers with the blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them. [34]  35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord.
Disagreement Between Paul and Barnabas
36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
Hebrews 1
New International Version (NIV)
God’s Final Word: His Son
In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.
The Son Superior to Angels
For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son;     today I have become your Father”?
Or again,
“I will be his Father,     and he will be my Son”?
And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”
In speaking of the angels he says,
“He makes his angels spirits,     and his servants flames of fire.”
But about the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;     a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;     therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions     by anointing you with the oil of joy.”
10 He also says,
“In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,     and the heavens are the work of your hands.
11 
They will perish, but you remain;     they will all wear out like a garment.
12 
You will roll them up like a robe;     like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same,     and your years will never end.”
13 To which of the angels did God ever say,
“Sit at my right hand     until I make your enemies     a footstool for your feet”?
14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?
Romans 14
New International Version (NIV)
The Weak and the Strong
14 Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me;     every tongue will acknowledge God.’”
12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.
19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.
22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.


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