I hope this preview will help you prepare your heart and family for worship this Sunday together with the Koinos believers.  Read through it, pray over it, discuss it.

Often when we walk into the gathering of believers our heart is nowhere near ready to worship the Almighty.  We might be full of pride and thoughts of self.  We might be sad with a heavy heart because of private troubles.  Maybe there’s a disappointment with God or a person.  Maybe there have been days on end of feasting on sin or fearing your life will have no meaning.  Why not begin now pouring out your heart to God asking Him to bring you back close to Him?

And that’s exactly how Hebrews 12 starts off, “let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”  God has called us into the race of following hard after Jesus, loving Him and spreading His great name globally.  That happens on Sundays as we gather but it continues as we go back home and to work and to class and all of life.  But honestly there are some big barriers, “weights” and “sins” that cling on and hinder us.

So just ponder how God’s discipline enters into our lives.  Yes, this text tells us that all those hard things the people of chapter eleven faced, and faced by believers now, are part of God’s discipline.  Don’t get this wrong – not punishment or correction for sins, but His discipline to make us grow to be stronger in faith – everything chapter eleven says about those people of faith God is working into our lives too.

What are the hard things in your life right now that you’d really just like to go away?  Start looking at them a new way.  Stop trying to wish or complain them away.  Start thinking of them as God’s loving hand of discipline making you more like His Son, who also suffered.  Consider what this chapter has to say about how to endure the suffering and grow strong in faith.  Then talk about it with your children, your mate, your grace friend.  Rest assured everyone you know is pondering these same things.

I’ll see you in worship on Sunday!