World English Bible translation
12:12Therefore, lift up the hands that hang down and the feeble knees, 12:13 and make straight paths for your feet, that that which is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. 12:14 Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no man will see the Lord, 12:15 looking carefully lest there be any man who falls short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby the many be defiled; 12:16 lest there be any sexually immoral person, or profane person, as Esau, who sold his birthright for one meal. 12:17 For you know that even when he afterward desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for a change of mind though he sought it diligently with tears.
We have a great crowd of witnesses that surround us as we live our lives in Christ. All those who have gone before us eagerly await the redemption of the world when they will be redeemed with us. Until that day, we must set aside the sin that so easily entangles us and run our race by faith in the work of the Father. The Father does work in our hearts, disciplining us to walk in a way that is worthy of the sacrifice of Christ. In fact, we know that we are God's chosen because He disciplines us as His beloved children.
Because we are God's children, we are meant to live victorious lives. God's discipline strengthens us so that we might stand against the world. In God's strength we can stand even when we are not strong ourselves. With Christ, the lame are healed and the weak are emboldened. There is no reason for the children of the Creator of the universe to live in fear. God is with us. Even though the whole of the world should be against us, with God's help we can stand.
So let us be at peace with all men and let us be set apart in holiness to God. Most of all we must stand united with other believers. If any believer falls short of the grace of God, then it affects all of us. In Christ, we are one body. Your sin affects me and my sin affects you. We must learn to encourage all believers to live by the grace of God that He gives us.
We must also learn to discern those that are not part of the family of God as well. The author gives us the example of Esau, the twin brother of Jacob who sold his birthright for a bowl of soup. In even the most blessed family there can be those that have no part in God. It is not the physical descendants of Abraham that received the promise that God had given. It was the spiritual descendants who received the blessing.
In every congregation of people, there will be some there that donít belong to the family of God, just as Esau was not a child of the promise even though he was a son of Isaac. We live in this world, but we are not to live as a part of it. We cannot live apart from the Esau's of the world. They are all around us. In our churches and in our families there will be those like Esau. We must have faith that God will lead us so that those like Esau in our lives will not overcome. We are the children of the promise of God. All the inheritance that is from God is ours. We must stand straight and stand in faith.
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