HEBREWS 12:1-3, 12-17

    “Do you see what this means–all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on?  It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running–and never quit!  No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins.   Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in.  Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed–that exhilarating finish in and with God–he could put up with anything along the way:  Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.  When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through.  That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

……So don’t sit around on your hands!  No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so not one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle.  Help each other out.  And run for it!

    Work at getting along with each other and with God.  Otherwise you’ll never get so much as a glimpse of God.  Make sure no one gets left out of God’s generosity. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent.  A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time.  Watch out for the Esau syndrome:  trading away God’s lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite.  You well know how Esau later regretted that impulsive act and wanted God’s blessing–but by then it was too late, tears or no tears.”

                                           The Message Bible

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