May 17, 2022
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto 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.
7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
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?
10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
Self examination. It is important in it’s medical aspects but vastly more important in it’s spiritual context. At least it seems so to me.
Merriam Webster Dictionary defines chasten this way: chasten … b : to cause to be more humble or restrained : subdue. We humans have a habit of thinking we’re ‘all that and a bag of chips’ but how do we stack up against what and who Jesus calls us to be? That’s the measure that matters – billionaire or pauper, smart or dumb, old or young, are we walking in the footsteps of Jesus to the best of our ability? One wonders – which is where self examination comes in.
Years ago, there was a funny cartoon of a woman, shown in two places. Out and about during the day, looking lovely and perfectly coiffed with a perfect figure, clothing that fit just right. The other picture was the same woman at home – minus wig, false eyelashes, implants, false fingernails … you get the idea. What do we look like to God when we’re ‘at home’? Can we see Jesus in ourselves? Can anyone else see Him in us?
I’ll take the chastening. I’ll take anything that pleases God and be glad for it. Anything that draws me nearer to the ‘author and finisher of our faith’.