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Heritage Message September 2005

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Heritage Message

September 4, 2005

Hebrews 12:1-13

Run With Perseverance


-          “BE NICE TO ME. I HAD A HARD DAY”

-          "How can you tell this early in the morning?"

-          Craig Larson - “the Boston Marathon,

o   Heartbreak Hill.

o   mile thirteen - a number of hills,

o   climaxing at mile nineteen with Heartbreak Hill.

o   longest, steepest hill in the race.

o   world-class runners "hit the wall" around mile eighteen or nineteen.

§   depleted the glycogen stored in the muscles

§  replaced with lactic acid.

§  muscles are screaming for oxygen.

o   Heartbreak Hill tests runners to the very core of their determination\

-          Heartbreak Hills in life.

-          Life is not on a level grade.

-          We have problems. We have bigger problems.

-          at times we face Heartbreak Hill.

-          your “heartbreak hill?”

o    persecution.

o   illness

o   relationships

o   loneliness, fear and loss.

o   death

-          Hebrews 12:1 - “run with perseverance.”

o   sometimes life is tough

o   requires perseverance.

o   “the race marked out for us”

§  each of us has a different path

§  we are all in this race

§  we all need to persevere.

-          What are the perspectives which can help us?

-          What point of view is important?

-          The rest of the passage helps answer that question.

I.     Consider Him Hebrews 12:2-4

-          ill-fated mission of Apollo 13,

-          critical course correction.

-          If they failed, they might never return to Earth.

-          shut down the onboard computer

-          a thirty-nine-second burn of the main engines.

-          How to steer?

-          Jim Lovell determined that if they could keep a fixed point

-          focal point turned out to be their destination--Earth.

-          1995's hit movie, Apollo 13,

-          By not losing sight of that reference point, the three astronauts avoided disaster.

-          Hebrews 12 -the fixed reference point that we need to “run with perseverance.”

o   Verse 2 - “let us fix our eyes on Jesus.”

o   verse 3 - “consider Him.”

-          How does considering Jesus help us “run with perseverance?”

A.  Christ Endured

-          Hebrews 11 - heroes of faith - persevered

o   Abraham longed for a country not his own,

o   Moses left the pleasures of royal life in Egypt

o   an encouragement.

-          example of Jesus

-          What does His life and example teach us about difficulty and suffering?

-          text - Jesus “endured the cross, scorning its shame.”

-          What did that mean for Jesus?

o   physical suffering

o   cannot dismiss the suffering - he was God

§  Jesus was fully human and suffered physical suffering as much as any of us do.

o   spiritual suffering

§  He was God

§  the sinless one taking the sins of the world upon Himself

§  we will ever experience and can hardly imagine.

o   Jesus endured the cross.

o   willing to experience it and of course, He did it for us.

B.  Look To Him

-          How does this suffering of Jesus encourage us to endure?

-          we have not suffered as much as Jesus suffered.

o   verse 4 it - “you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”

§  encouraged to endure.


-          He understands our suffering.

o   He knows what we are going through.

o   Anne Ortlund - “A young pastor friend has ... been through trial

§   recently, he asked me, "What do you do when God doesn't say yes--doesn't give it, doesn't make it happen?"

§  "Through agony I've gotten to know God better; I love him more. ..."

§  "Look to his face, not to his hand."

-          What gave Jesus the ability to face such suffering?

o   “who for the joy set before Him.”

o   the hope and joy of what it would accomplish

o   We have similar promises.

§  Looking to Jesus helps us because he has given us eternal life.

-          vs. 3 says, to “not grow weary and lose heart.”

-          perspective - looking to Jesus.

-          I invite you to consider Him.

II.   Endure Hardship As Discipline 12:5-11

-          another perspective in being able to “run with perseverance.”

A.  The Lord Disciplines Those He Loves

-          what it means to be parents.

-          the love and concern we have for our children.

o   When they do well, we are proud of them.

o   When they struggle, we find it hard to watch.

o   When they make poor choices, what do we do?

§  younger, - discipline

§  mature, - speak wisdom into their lives

§  because we love them.

-          why would we think that God is any different?

o   He is our Father.

o   He loves us.

o   allows us to go through hardship so that we will learn

o   Hebrews 12.

§  Verse 6 - “the Lord disciplines those he loves.”

§  Verse 7 - “God is treating you as sons.”

§  verse 10 - “God disciplines us for our good.”

§  verse 8 - if we are not being disciplined- we are illegitimate children.

-          What kind of a difference does it make for you to know that the hardships God allows into your life are for your good?

-          our lives are in the hands of a loving Father who is seeking to draw us to Himself?

-          As human children, - we respect our parents for the way they guided us

-          adopt the perspective that God is disciplining us for our good

-          submit to Him and to the discipline he brings into our lives.

-          Can we respect God for His discipline?

o   One writer says, “there is no discipleship without discipline.”

o   A.W. Tozer - if a violin has loose strings,

B.  What Discipline Produces

-          What precisely is the intention of God’s loving discipline in our lives?”

1.    Life vs. 9

-          submit to God’s discipline, we will learn to live.

-          Sin feels like life, but leads to death.

-          Discipline, hardship feels like death, but leads to life.

-          Hugh Latimer - “For like sauces make the stomach desire to receive meat, so affliction stirs up in us a desire to Christ.”

-          God’s discipline will make us desire Him and desiring Him, we will find life.

!!! 2.    Holiness vs. 10

-          God’s intention is to create a holy body of His followers.

-           discipline of God accomplishes the task of sanctification in our lives.

-          Verse 10 - that “we may share in His holiness.”

-          George Whitefield - “We must be made perfect by sufferings. If we do not meet them in our younger days, we shall certainly have them in the decline of life.”

3.    Righteousness vs. 11

-          Verse 11, - God will produce in us “a harvest of righteousness.”

-          If you plant wheat seeds, you will harvest wheat.

-          If you plant corn, you will harvest corn.

-          If God plants discipline in us, it will result in a harvest of righteousness of doing that which is right.

-          a process.

o   You put the right things in the soil and then you wait. then there is a harvest.

o   spiritual world. - discipline, - the right stuff into our life. -waiting - a harvest which is righteousness.

4.    Peace vs. 11

-          Psalm 46:10,

o   context of hardship and struggle

o   “be still and know that I am God.”

o   as we put our hope and trust in God.

o   A person who has suffered has ceased to feel resentful and rebellious; he has stilled and quieted his soul.


-          Bruce Waltke

o   rescued a wren from the claws of our cat

§  helping, struggling to be free

o   daughter's recent trip to the doctor.

§  "No Daddy. No, Daddy. No, Daddy."

§  gripped me tightly around the neck.

-          Pain ought to make us more like a sick child than a hurt bird.”

-          perspectives on suffering,

o   consider Jesus            

§  endured suffering

§  in hope

o   consider the value of suffering

§  teach us holiness and righteousness and peace,

-          be encouraged to run with perseverance.

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