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Practical Ways to Run Your Spiritual Race with Endurance

January 27, 2019 Speaker: Gibson Largent Series: Hebrews

Passage: Hebrews 12:12–12:17

Hebrews 12:12–17

[12] Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, [13] and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. [14] Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. [15] See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; [16] that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. [17] For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears. (ESV)

Listening Guide:

9 commands organized in 3 sets:

  • 1st set: 3 "Straights"
  • 2nd set: 2 "Strives"
  • 3rd set: 4 "See to its"
  1. Lift your drooping hands
  2. Strengthen your weak knees
    1. Isaiah 35:3-4 - "Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. 4 Say to those who have an anxious heart, "Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you."
  3. Make straight paths
    1. Isaiah 35:8 - “8 And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.”
    2. Proverbs 3:5-6 - “5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.“ 
  4. Strive for peace
    1. To have peace in regards to all of your relationships
    2. Mohler: “Notice it does not say to achieve peace with everyone” - just to pursue peace
  5. Strive for holiness/sanctification
    1. Sanctification = a lifelong process of becoming like Jesus
    2. Mohler: “this does not mean that those who run [this race of faith] are perfect or sinless, but it does mean they are fighting sin and living faithfully. No one will see the Lord without this holiness...”
  6. See to it that no one fails to obtain grace (community)
  7. See to it that no one lets bitterness spring up and cause trouble and many become defiled
  8. See to it that no is sexually immoral 
  9. See to it that no one is unholy

A negative example in mind: Esau

  • For more on Esau start reading in Genesis 25
  • (Book Gibson refers to: “Your Future Self Will Thank You: Secrets to Self-Control from the Bible and Brain Science (A Guide for Sinners, Quitters, and Procrastinators)" by Drew Dyck)
  • Stanford Marshmallow Experiment from Wikipedia
    • “The Stanford marshmallow experiment was a series of studies on delayed gratification in the late 1960s and early 1970s led by psychologist Walter Mischel, then a professor at Stanford University.[1] In these studies, a child was offered a choice between one small reward provided immediately or two small rewards if they waited for a short period, approximately 15 minutes, during which the tester left the room and then returned. (The reward was sometimes a marshmallow, but often a cookie or a pretzel.) In follow-up studies, the researchers found that children who were able to wait longer for the preferred rewards tended to have better life outcomes, as measured by SAT scores,[2] educational attainment,[3] body mass index (BMI),[4] and other life measures.[5] A replication attempt with a more diverse sample population over 10 times larger than the original study failed to support the original study's conclusions and suggested that economic background rather than willpower explained the results.[6]”

Conclusion

  • ESV Study Bible Note on Isaiah 35:1-10:
    • "God’s word to all who trust him is that everlasting joy is coming."
  • Isaiah 35:1-10
    • “1 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; 2 it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God. 3 Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. 4 Say to those who have an anxious heart, "Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you." 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; 7 the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down, the grass shall become reeds and rushes. 8 And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. 9 No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there. 10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”