Thursday, January 17, 2013
Training Which is Reflected in Living
Key Point: The true test of what we know, as Believers, is not how much we understand, but how that knowledge is affecting our lives. It matters little how many verses of Scripture I’ve memorized, if I’m not honestly attempting to obey the principles I do know.
The Hebrew Believers were undergoing extreme persecution from their own people. Some were being tempted to renounce their faith and the author of Hebrews reminds them, in Chapter twelve, that they have not yet suffered martyrdom, so they really haven’t suffered much at all. He uses the analogy of a young athlete, training for the public games who submits himself to rigorous training in order to excel, as an example of how the chastening of the Lord should be received. Such training involved the willing participate often being beaten in such a way as to elicit pain by the more advanced trainer, thereby requiring the trainee to either improve or quit to avoid the harsh beatings administered by the trainer.
Certainly, some attacks are directly from the enemy, and others are given by The Father to reclaim His children when they have wandered from His way and been enticed by the dainties of this world system. But much is simply training so that the Believer might become more conformed to the will of God in Christ Jesus, and thereby more adept at being a useful instrument of God’s grace in this world.
One man has said that the most dangerous cult in America is “The Cult of Easy Living.” Contemporary Believers seem more intent on what is happening in their lives right now, than what lies ahead. We seem incapable of belaying the ease of the moment in order to prepare ourselves for a greater usefulness. In another place the Apostle Paul declared that if the best reward we have is what we receive here on this world, then we must be the most miserable of all men.
Genuine Believers deny themselves the dainties of this world in order to prepare for the coming world. By faith, they understand that there is coming a time when they’ll rest in the bosom of Jesus Christ, and even though they may be misunderstood, abused, and misused in this age; it is only temporary. After a short season, they will be transported into eternal victory.
The writer says, therefore, to not give up when those who have been close to you attack you. When those long forgotten, and seemingly buried, missteps catch you unprepared--When deliberate attacks from the enemy discombobulate your actions in an attempt to discredit you--When bad decisions pile up around you, threatening to bury you under a sea of failure–Remember those who’ve gone before, who’ve suffered even greater emotional, financial, physical, and even moral attacks. Do not surrender. As the sturdy athlete in training, step forward prepared to accept the blows the Master Trainer administers in order to be more prepared to step into the big public arena so that the world might see how Genuine Believers comport themselves in this world system. Whereby, many might come to faith in Christ by seeing such comportment.
From “A Word For Living” by Mike Rasberry
© Mike Rasberry 2013