( HEBREWS 12:5-6 )

AND YE HAVE FORGOTTEN THE EXHORTATION WHICH SPEAKETH UNTO YOU AS CHILDREN, MY SON, DESPISE NOT THOU THE CHASTENING OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN THOU ART REBUKED OF HIM: ( 6 ) FOR WHOM THE LORD LOVETH HE CHASTENETH, AND SCOURGETH EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVETH.

I often struggle with how to begin the messages I might preach or write. What is it that I need to say in the beginning to bring my message to a place where people can ( consume with power ) the thought the Holy Spirit wants to impress upon our hearts? I feel that here in ( Hebrews ) we need to begin by making a tremendous point about the Hebrew people.These people are God’s chosen people. God picked the nation of Israel to call his own. However, that doesn’t mean that ever person in Israel has the Spirit of God within them.

We might use my family as an example of what I’m saying. If I use my wife, my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren as examples, my wife and I are born again. All the people within our family is a part of us, yet; that doesn’t mean that they all know Jesus Christ as their Savior. If you will study this chapter in Hebrews, you will notice that it makes this statement:

( verse 9 )

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

As a wise father or mother; we seek to teach our children about the pitfalls of life. We try to instruct them and help them realize that life is not all fun and games. When we see them doing wrong, we punish them, we use sutuations we see in this life to show them what to avoid as they move foward. While the child might see the punishment as being hard, even cruel at times; they realize that ( our chastisement ) of them is meant to prepare them for a life they shoud seek to stay away from.

As I consider this, I now realize that even as my father and mother chastened me, it was a very minor thing when I consider all that God the Father does to try and deter me from a place called hell.We could say that ( the nation of Israel ) is a microcosm of this whole world. We could also look at a father and his children the very same way.

God is the father of all. Without the hand of God none of us would even be here. However that doesn’t mean that we all are born of His Spirit. Being a part of God’s heavenly family is a choice we all have to make if we desire to aviod that place called hell.

Look at this verse: ( 2 Peter 3:9 )

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

As you consider this verse, let me ask you something. If I were your dad and, I was on the housetop with a ladder sitting up for me to go up and down. You came out as my child and begin to climb that ladder. I told to get off of the ladder, to not be playing on it, it might be dangerous for you. Well, while I wasn’t looking, you climbed the ladder anyway, fell off and broke your arm. Do you think it was my will that you got hurt? No! not at all but, if you won’t listen, things happen.

When my oldest daughter was just a small child, maybe 18 months, I smoked. One day I was carrying her on my arm. I was talking to a friend of mine, she kept reaching for the glow on the end of my cigarette.I continued to tell her ( no ) leave it alone, it will burn! While I wasn’t looking, she got it! It stuck to her little finger, she couldn’t shake it off. I had to remove it, it was burning her finger. Do you think that I ever had to tell her again, not to touch that glow? The fact I chastened her and, she didn’t listen, taught her a life long lesson!

As our lives unfolds, God’s true desire is to do all he can to keep us out of hell. Now, we can argue the point. He can just simply do away with hell and fix the problem. However, would that be wise on his part? Without having something to be constrained from, there is no true love! Can you imagine God The Father just allowing any person, no matter what to come to heaven? Wouldn’t that make heaven just axactly like this world? Let me present you with a thought. Would you rather me love you, walk with you, serve you because it was my choice to do or, have me do it because I was made to?

This life is full of choices and consequences. That my friend is an important part of every life. The choices we make dictate who we are and, also dictates the consequences we might face. I completely understand that we will also face things that we had no control over, people do us wrong or things happen in our lives that we just simply didn’t see coming. However, I all works to point us to our need to prepare to meet our Lord.

Basically speaking, Adam was a perfect picture of mankind whether we like to admit it or not. Although we are born into this world by no choice of our own, we all have to admit, for the most part we enjoy being here. Hell as a consequence of a wayward life is how God the Father chose to allow you to determine what you love the most. Do you love the sin that Satan has to offer or, the eternal life that God has to offer the most? I often try to get people to see that ( all they do ) that is pleasing or satisfying to Satan; he gains for free, you do all the work, he ends up with what he desires which is you in hell.He has no love for you at all. He just can’t stand the fact that God the Father might one day have you for his. Because of this, he continues to deceive the sinner, making them think they are happy just as they are.

God the Father on the other hand came to this world in a body of flesh, we call him Jesus Christ. He die that to prove just how much he loves you. He went to the cross, suffered and died for all your sin. He also rose again from that death to make sure that what he had purchased with his own blood would be secure.

Not only that, he also places stumbling blocks on your wide road to destruction to slow you down and cause you to consider the path you are on.Often we pay little attention to those stumbling blocks and just mark it off as a bad time in our lives when, in reality God’s trying his best to get us to stop and ( reason with him ). ( I personally believe ) as a born again believer that everything that happen in our lives we should stop and spend time with our Lord about what he is trying to say to us.

In ( Numbers 22 ) you can read a story about ( Balaam’s ass ) speaking to him. The ass saw and angel standing in the path and turned aside. The first time Balaam cursed the animal. The second time he turned aside, Balaam smote the animal. Then the animal spoke to him ans asked him ( can’t you see that angel )? Balaam was on the way to do something that God didn’t want him to do. That ( ass ) was the best thing that happened to Balaam. He became a stumbling block on Balaam’s path to displeasing God.

I said that ( God loved Israel ) ( God Loved this world ) so much he sent his son to die for all our sins. He also ( loves you ) as an individual.One more thing: ( God chastens ) those that he loves. It make no difference whether you are born again or lost, he loves you. You look at your life. Where do you stand with God? Each of us are headed for a day when we must stand before Jesus Christ as our judge. Has God placed any stumbling blocks in your path lately to seek to slow you down? How much did you personally pay attention to those blocks? We often just mark those things off as bad days or things in our lives, when, in reality God is seeking to have you change your direction.

In ( Hebrews 12:3 ) it says this:

For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

Each of us at least needs to ( consider him ). God, who is the exact opposite of us, who has not one thing in common with us, loved us and, desires to come and live within the heart of every person. As for me; my desire is to stop being like anything that relates to Satan. My desire is to have God’s spirit completely transform me to a picture of his image!

My desire is to ( consider him ) in all things that takes place in my life as it unfolds. As situations come up in my life, I seek to learn how to walk much closer to him, look for his will in my life. I also try to allow things that happen to open the eyes of the people around me as well.

When we consider eternity and that being by his side forever, there are actually no bad things that happen to us in this life. It’s all to bring about good and spiritual growth within each of us, even those that are not saved. It simply takes each of us being willing to allow God’s spirit to teach us by the things that unfold in our lives. When we learn to see him in all things then we can become more like him. Consider this: was Christ sufferings, he being nailed to his cross, a crown of thorns placed on his head, laughed at, spit upon, all these things, was it a good thing or a bad thing?

His suffering, his death bought me life! When I become willing to die to myself, maybe that will help someone see Christ in me and gain life as well!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

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