18 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19 to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20 because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.” 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”
22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
25 See 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?
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”
It hit me hard here that there's an acceptable way to worship God, and the way I've been doing it just might not be that acceptable. So it behooves me to search out how God wants me to worship Him, and do it that way with reverence and awe.
joannas wrote:I only read a little way into the text and was already encouraged.
In 12:5-13, it talks about how we are God's sons (and daughters), and how God disciplines those who He loves. In verse 7 it says "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?" When we go through trials, we often get mad, or even just down in the dumps and depressed. But when we endure hardships we need to remember 3 things: one, God may be disciplining us, and if He is, it is because He loves us and knows that we need it; two, if the hardship involves persecution, it proves that we really are saved, because Jesus tells us many times that the world persecuted Him, so those in the world will persecute us as well; and three, trials make us stronger in our faith, so we should take joy in them. James 1:2 says "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perserverance." So trials are not only proof of God's love for us, but also help us to grow stronger and get closer to God.
11:27 It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king's anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the one who is invisible.
And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.*
11No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it's painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
12So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. 13Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.
15Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.
14For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.
1 Keep on loving each other as brothers. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. 3 Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. 37 Then the righteous will answer him, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did wee see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go visit you? 40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
12:3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
12:12-13 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
12:28-29 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire."
13:6 So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"
13:15 ...a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that confess His name.
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