ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness
GOD IS GOOD God is the final standard of good, and that all that He is and does is worthy of approval. Here are a few passages that speak of God’s goodness:
- “No one is good but God alone” (Luke 18:19).
- The Psalms frequently affirm that “the Lord is good” (Psalm 100:5).
- “O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good” (Psalm 106:1).
- “O taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalm 34:8).
Praise God that He is Good
Goodness comes naturally from God. Praise him that HE IS GOOD and not just that He does good. He puts no effort into goodness. He just IS GOOD. Praise him that all that he has made and done is good.
CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100
SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.
- Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
- Pray for your friends who do not know Jesus. Ask God to strengthen your friendships and to give you opportunities for gospel conversations.
New Living Translation
God’s Discipline Proves His Love
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.[a] Because of the joy[b] awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people;[c] then you won’t become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.
5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children?[d] He said,
“My child,[e] don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and don’t give up when he corrects you.
6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”[f]
7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?[g]
10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.
A Call to Listen to God
14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. 16 Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal. 17 You know that afterward, when he wanted his father’s blessing, he was rejected. It was too late for repentance, even though he begged with bitter tears.
18 You have not come to a physical mountain,[h] to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai. 19 For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking. 20 They staggered back under God’s command: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.”[i] 21 Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, “I am terrified and trembling.”[j]
22 No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in a joyful gathering. 23 You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. 24 You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.
25 Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! 26 When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.”[k] 27 This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain.
28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. 29 For our God is a devouring fire.
What was the “joy set before Jesus”? Was it his Father’s glory? Obedience? Our salvation? The answer is probably “yes to all of that.” We know that he endured pain for greater joy; the question is, how does this help us endure pain for greater joy? First, do some self-evaluation of your own perspective. How much do you subconsciously (or consciously) believe that: “If God is really there, and he really cares, wouldn’t he remove most (or more) of the pain and suffering in the world and in my own life?” It’s a fair and important question… how would you answer it? You might say, “I’m asking it, you answer it!” No, I’d like you to answer it. What are the Bible’s answers to the question “why is there so much suffering?” What about specific suffering in your life? What might God be doing in that? What has he done already? It’s one thing to consider suffering as an abstract topic, it’s quite another to think about it in personal, intimate ways. The Bible gives many answers to the question of “If God is there, and God is powerful, and God is love, why is there so much suffering?” The most important answer is here in this passage. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” How is the death of Christ on the cross the fullest and most important answer?