From Hebrews 12
God Disciplines His Sons
1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let 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. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
4In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”[a]
7Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11No 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.
12Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13“Make level paths for your feet,”[b] so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
Warning Against Refusing God
14Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. 15See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. 16See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. 17Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.
You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
25See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 26At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”[e] 27The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
28Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29for our “God is a consuming fire.”[f]
I have always struggled wiht this verse … on one hand I am so adament against works based righteoussness as I have seen moralism as a social power play and the word truth used to hurt people ….. but it also says to in our struggles against sin, to resist to the point of shedding our blood. What does this mean to me? To me it means sharing a lot of hurt and pain I have caused … not just on a 1000 foot view level… but at an intimate level. Also to share a part of myself to others so deeply so I don’t feel the urge to sin. To expose the deeper thoughts and feelings and to publically expose them before sin occurs. To share this in a spiritually and emotionally transparent way. Basically, to expose my idols before Christ at the foot of the cross in a very intimate way.
However, in recent days I have discovered that this transparency and intimacy can not just be words. It needs intentionality, and it needs a plan and it needs humility. It also needs a James and John , Jesus’ most precious confidants type of person at my side to share this stuff deeply to assist in THE BATTLEs AND STRUGGLES IN THIS WORLD!
I also need to share this manly side of me to my wife on a real and intentionally intimate level. We are different but she is Gods plan for me to re-embrace the mystery of the New Covenant, the Grace of God (Ephesians 5:32), in a one flesh union. I need to share with her and my closest brothers (James and John) in a way where I am not spiritually posturing or posturing in a way to just “look good” in front of them.
So the plan for the New Church Year is “Intentional Intimacy” and submitting faithfully to Gods Word…. and no posturing in my closest relations… my wife and a few chosen brothers in Christ!