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Heb 12:11 No 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. (NIV)

In the opening verses of Hebrews 12, the author impresses upon the reader that as Christians we have a race to run that will lead to ultimate victory and reward. In the running, however, we must realize that sin is an extra burden we bear, a weight that slows us down and makes the job harder.

The thought is carried further that we have a help from God in ridding ourselves of this extra weight, that of the discipline through His word contained in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Just as the discipline of a natural parent seems unpleasant, so the discipline of our spiritual Father seems unpleasant for the time.

But even that burden is made lighter when we realize the truth that God would not chasten us if He did not love us, and that the correction will produce in us much good fruit - righteousness, peace, calmness, and a tranquil heart.

Do not be offended when the gospel of Christ points out to you the discrepancy between your way of living and the way Christ would have you live. Give thanks always you have had the opportunity to see God's will for you… the opportunity to, be not conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Rom 12:2(NIV)

2 Cor 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (NIV)

The three materialistic idols which are most popular with worldly people - wealth, pleasure, power - are all to endure but a short time. Soon they will vanish away. So it is also with the things that try us - pain, sorrow, and tears. The most costly palace will decay; the finest city will fall to ruins; a painful and lingering disease will soon cease. There is nothing that we can see or touch or hear that will not pass away.

The joys of the life to come are eternal and will never pass away. There will be no cessation, no recession, no end. God is eternal and will ever be with those who are his saved, those who receive His crown of life. Our friends there will be eternal for they shall die no more.

Eternal also will be the woes of hell. Sorrow there shall never cease; the body raised up "To the resurrection of damnation" will never again die either. Satan and his angles will be constant companions in that life also.

So the choice is yours. Accept the discipline of God with joy looking for the eternal reward. Or, reject God, following the way of self and sin to the punishment of eternal sorrow.




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